ACR lands big fish in UnitedHealthcare

Dear AuntMinnie Member,

The American College of Radiology has won a major victory in its effort to curb overutilization and preserve the quality of imaging services. Healthcare payor UnitedHealthcare has agreed to use the Reston, VA, society's appropriateness criteria and accreditation programs as part of a multiyear effort to improve quality within the insurer's network of imaging providers.

UnitedHealthcare isn't the first insurer to use appropriateness criteria as a way of slowing the growth of imaging utilization, according to the article in our Imaging Center Digital Community by staff writer Tracie L. Thompson. But the payor is the first company to adopt the ACR's programs on such a widespread basis.

The ACR Appropriateness Criteria are guidelines based on scientific literature that suggest to referring physicians what imaging tests should be ordered when. UnitedHealthcare plans to distribute the criteria to some 450,000 physicians throughout the U.S. -- giving the guidelines a major boost in their visibility and influence.

UnitedHealthcare will also try to steer more referrals to those imaging providers who have passed muster with the ACR's accreditation program. The insurer has already been successful with similar programs targeting the cardiac and oncology segments.

Get the rest of the story in our Imaging Center Digital Community, at centers.auntminnie.com.

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