There is an increasing demand for radiological services in the United States. It can be attributed to several factors ranging from a growing aging population to the requirement for better diagnostic facilities. But, the American College of Radiology (ACR) has recently brought forward a new challenge faced by the industry. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed enormous reimbursement cuts for ultrasound procedures. According to the American College of Radiology, the amount translates to about $112 million.
In order to stop this, ACR has requested medical professionals as well as the entire radiology community to come forward with invoices reflecting actual costs. These invoices would state the real cost of purchasing ultrasound equipment from various sources.
What is the role of radiology in treatment?
Treatment without radiological images is almost unthinkable in today’s day and age. It allows medical practitioners to identify and diagnose any medical problem by looking at images produced through radiation. X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, and magnetic resonance imaging are some of the radiological imaging services used for treating and managing diseases. Doctors can take a thorough look into the human body by means of these images and eventually devise disease management and treatment plans.
Inaccurate Claims by CMS
The radiology community believes that CMS has inaccurately depicted costs associated with direct expenses for various ultrasound equipment. Supply pricing for the vascular ultrasound and ultrasound rooms have also been updated wrongly in the report prepared by CMS. The claims can largely affect the radiology community as reimbursement cuts are expected to kick in.
ACR Looks for Solutions
In order to counter the claims made by CMS, ACR is urging the CMS to delay the cuts until they provide actual invoices from all concerned parties. The chief executive officer and MD of American College of Radiology, William T. Thorwarth Jr. said, efforts are being made to make the CMS aware of the actual costs involved in ultrasound practices.
Thorwarth Jr. also made it clear that reimbursement cuts would adversely affect a patient’s access to necessary health care services. As a result, radiologists, ultrasound service providers and managers of radiology businesses have been requested to update the actual figures related to ultrasound imaging services.
Cuts to be effective from 2020
According to the initial reports prepared by the CMS, the proposed cuts were supposed to be effective from January 2019. However, the ACR’s efforts have been considered by the CMS and it has now been delayed till 2020. The radiology community, therefore, has some time to collect invoices and convince the CMS from going ahead with the reimbursement cuts.
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