Effective January 1, 2016, many CT scanners across the U.S. will be subject to lower reimbursement on a multitude of imaging exams.
The MITA smart-dose requirements, known as XR-29, are designed to make sure patients are receiving accountable treatment and the lowest radiation exposure possible from the facilities providing them care.
While many of the CT scanners on the market are already in compliance with XR-29, there are many that will either need to be replaced, updated, or else subjected to a 5 percent cut in reimbursement (in 2017 that cut jumps to 15 percent). HCB News spoke to Mike Ghazal, owner of Zetta Medical Technologies, about a vendor-neutral product he thinks could help facilities achieve compliance.
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HCB News: Why did you decide to develop a solution for achieving XR-29 compliance?
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In 2016, many CT scanners will be deemed noncompliant with the XR-29 standard. Z-Dose29 makes these CT scanners conforming to the four attributes of the standard. Z-Dose29 is vendor-neutral; it works with GE, Siemens, Philips and Toshiba CT scanners. Customers can continue utilizing their perfectly operational and reliable CT scanners without the need to replace it with newer models. The cost of new CT scanners can add financial burden on healthcare providers which may lead to reducing their medical staff and impacting patient care. Without this solution, these customers will also face reduced reimbursements from their Medicare patients causing additional financial hardship.
HCB News: How is Z-Dose29 able to interact with CT scanners from all four major OEMS?
Z-Dose29 is an intuitive solution that is vendor-neutral. From the ground up, it is designed to interact with these CT scanners as a network node (similar to a PACs system). Z-Dose29 is considered noninvasive so it doesn’t require modifications to the scanner’s software or hardware.
HCB News: Are there certain scanners out there that will not be compatible with XR-29 despite applying Z-Dose29?
The CT scanner must have AEC (Automatic Exposure Control) and predefined Pediatric and Adult Protocols installed. Most CT scanners manufactured in 2002 and newer already have these features included with the scanner. Z-Dose29 provides the CT scanner with the ability to perform CT Dose Check and to generate a detailed DICOM Structured Dose Report (DSDR); making it compliant with the XR-29 four attributes.
HCB News: What aspect of XR-29 compliance was the most challenging to incorporate into the solution?