I hope all our readers and our American College of Radiology (ACR) community had a good holiday season and that you all feel refreshed and ready to face the challenges of the year ahead. The ACR economics team is busy compiling our comments on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Physician Fee Schedule and Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) Rules, which are due on January 27. We’re also waiting on tenterhooks to see if our Clinical Decision Support language survives as the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) reform bill makes its way through Congress.
As well as our ongoing regulatory activities through the year — Current Procedural Terminology (CPT), Relative Value Update Committee (RUC) and Carrier Advisory Committee (CAC) meetings, etc. — we’ll be focusing on the way forward for radiologists in this new post-Affordable Care Act world. Whether it’s new, lower rates and narrowed networks for patients on the exchanges, how to deal with our patients’ very reasonable wish for price transparency or just keeping tabs on how members are dealing with the multiple challenges we are all facing, we’ll be keeping busy on your behalf. If you are part of an Accountable Care Organization that is thinking about how to manage imaging or working with radiologists to craft new reimbursement models, we’d love to hear from you.
Our New Year’s resolution stays the same each year: to do the very best we can to ensure high-value care for our patients while advocating for recognition of the essential contribution that radiologists make to that care.
Author – Geraldine B. McGinty, M.D., MBA, FACR