Effects of Government Shutdown on ACR Economics Activities

As I write, the federal government has shut down due to a stalemate between the various branches. The Government shutdown has many serious negative implications but for your Economics team it represents the loss of several opportunities to represent you and advocate for fair reimbursement for the valuable imaging services we all provide. Two important meetings have been canceled until further notice.

One was a now annual meeting where our Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) team works with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to determine the appropriate placement and classification of imaging services in the payment system. Jim Rawson, M.D., the chair of our HOPPS Committee, is well respected by the staff at CMS and these meetings have traditionally been collaborative and to the benefit of American College of Radiology (ACR) members.

The second was a meeting which we hoped would launch a discussion with CMS on lung cancer screening. I think we would all agree that only ACR has the experience and scope to develop the type of program that will match optimal benefit to our patients with cost effectiveness.

I don’t want to suggest that these meetings will not be rescheduled but at a time when we are working tirelessly to find ways to demonstrate the value that radiologists deliver, any delay in our ability to tell our story is frustrating.

Author – Geraldine B. McGinty, M.D., MBA, FACR

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