Imaging mostly absent from MedPAC's March report to Congress

2017 05 04 10 02 04 942 Capitol Hill2 400

Medical imaging is mostly absent from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's (MedPAC) report to Congress released March 15.

"There's nothing specific on medical imaging in our report this year," said commission Executive Director Jim Mathews, PhD, in a teleconference.

Additionally, the commission is not recommending any payment updates to the physician fee schedule for 2023, it said.

Overall, Medicare payments per beneficiary decreased in 2020 by 10.6%, "due to care being postponed or forgone during the [COVID-19] public health emergency," the report authors noted. In particular, imaging services fell by 11.4%; by modality, the decrease varied.

Allowed charges per fee-for-service beneficiary for physician fee schedule services, 2019-2020
Service type Change in units of service per beneficiary Change in payments per beneficiary
Imaging (overall) -13.3% -11.4%
X-ray -14.4% -13.2%
Ultrasound -14% -13%
CT -9.3% -8.2%
Nuclear medicine -15% -6.8%
MRI -13.4% -13.5%

This year's report was complicated by COVID-19, the commission noted.

"While we have considered the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on our payment adequacy indicators, we continue to make recommendations aimed at finding ways to provide high-quality care for Medicare beneficiaries while giving providers incentives to constrain their cost growth and thus help control program spending," it wrote.

Page 1 of 240
Next Page