Last week, legislators in Washington conducted their final business of 2013. As the House Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committees sent their SGR repeal versions to markup, the Clinical Decision Support provisions, so important for radiology, stood up against several challenges by stakeholders including CMS.
The legislation as proposed is not perfect. However, the significance of this milestone cannot be overstated. Health care is in a generational paradigm shift. The nation is transitioning from prioritizing value rather than volume. Unfortunately, providers are stuck in a financial chasm as reimbursement plans lag behind the regulatory reforms, sometimes referred to as “death valley”. But clearly this is where radiology is headed. And we are being proactive. Payment reform is the vital key to the transformation of radiology and Imaging 3.0.
As we reflect upon this moment, we should acknowledge the years of hard work, planning, investment and commitment by the ACR and staff. Government relations work can be agonizingly frustrating. But it is a requisite for all of our practices to be successful.
The work is not complete. As we move into the new year and look past the short-term doc fix, the SGR debate will move to deciding “pay fors” and issues such as annual updates.
But for right now, for radiology, it is a great way to end the year.
Geraldine and I want to wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a happy and successful new year.