ACR says OIG will scrutinize imaging in 2015

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General (OIG) has included three imaging-related projects in its work plan for the 2015 fiscal year, according to the American College of Radiology (ACR).

The work plan is OIG's yearly reference for investigations, audits, and reports, and it lists healthcare programs and operations that OIG believes are too costly or could violate fraud and abuse laws, ACR said.

The three imaging-related projects are as follows:

  • Auditing Medicare payments for Part B imaging services to "determine whether they reflect the expenses incurred and whether the utilization rates reflect industry practices"; OIG plans to issue a report from this audit in September
  • Auditing Medicare payments for high-cost diagnostic imaging to assess whether they are medically necessary and whether utilization has increased
  • Auditing hospitals' security controls for networked medical devices to evaluate whether these controls are effective in protecting health information

"Members who render patient care in the areas listed in the work plan should not expect an immediate knock on their office door from the OIG. However, it could happen," ACR said. "As always, radiologists and their staffs should properly document the medical necessity of and correctly code and bill for their services."

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