ACR touts 180 co-sponsors for radiology bill

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | January 30, 2012
The American College of Radiology said it has recruited 180 co-sponsors for a congressional bill that would block a Medicare cut to radiologists.

The bill, H.R. 3269, the Diagnostic Imaging Services Access Protection Act, would stop the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from implementing a 25 percent cut to doctors who perform multiple advanced imaging scans on the same patient in the same day.

The bipartisan bill was first introduced into the House of Representatives in October by Reps. Peter Olson (R-Texas) and Betty McCollum (D-Minn.). Last fall, when we first reported on it, it had 31 additional sponsors. Now, that number has climbed to 180, according to a list kept on ACR's website.

The CMS is reducing the professional component of Medicare reimbursement for doctors performing an MRI, CT or ultrasound scan on the patient on the same day by 25 percent. While still steep, the cuts are lower than the 50 percent originally proposed by the agency.

Nonetheless, the new bill would freeze those cuts through this year and wouldn't allow reductions to take place until 2013, and then only if a study proved doctors gained efficiencies in doing multiple scans that would justify the cuts.

Previously, ACR has said doctors only enjoy, at most, 5 percent efficiencies, so the cuts are excessive.

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