RSNA and Medicare’s Final Rules for 2014

More than 60,000 members of the worldwide imaging community gathered in Chicago this week for the Radiological Society of North America’s (RSNA) annual meeting. The meeting is anything but homogeneous and everyone who attends has a unique experience. Twenty-one years ago I was a resident gazing open mouthed at acres of the latest technology in the exhibit hall and being blown away by the cutting edge research presentations. My RSNA now is more focused on economics and policy as well as some great networking.

This year’s RSNA was unusual due to the late issuance of Medicare’s Final Rules for 2014. Usually our ACR Economics team arrives in Chicago well versed in the language of the Final Rules and prepare to answer questions from radiologists, vendors and reporters. The Rules were issued at 5 p.m. the day before Thanksgiving. Despite staff and volunteers working through the weekend to comb through hundreds of pages we were still parsing out the complexities and the many significant changes from the Proposed  Rule language as we arrived at RSNA.

We fielded many concerns about the drastic cuts imposed on imaging-guided breast biopsies and you will be hearing from us on what you can do to support our response. We fear that access to these valuable services will be reduced and we’ll protest that vigorously. We’ll have detailed summaries of all the changes to you as soon as  possible and will craft a robust comment letter that we’ll share with you.

Attending RSNA reminds me of the many reasons I love being a radiologist: using technology and our clinical skills to benefit our patients. Our Economics efforts are dedicated to supporting that mission.

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

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