ACR to HHS: AUC Better Option than Prior Authorization

moran4This post was contributed by ACR Executive Vice President of Government Relations and Health Policy Cynthia Moran.

Starting as early as Jan. 1, 2018, Medicare will require doctors to consult appropriate use criteria (AUC) before they order advanced imaging for seniors. This is coming. We all need to get ready for it.

Early adopters of AUC will be eligible to report this use as a high-weighted improvement activity under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

However, even now, other forces want to require more burdensome prior authorization for Medicare imaging. The American College of Radiology (ACR) is working against this.

ACR Chief Executive Officer William T. Thorwarth, MD, FACR, and I recently met with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, MD. CMS Director Seema Verma was there too.

We assured them that AUC is far better to ensure quality imaging than prior authorization. Automated, via clinical decision support (CDS), evidence-based AUC eases administrative burdens and speeds care.

Do not fear the AUC mandate. It is far better than the alternative that would take its place.

We are working to ensure Medicare goes with a quality-based imaging approach. While we do this, take advantage of ACR resources to help you prepare for AUC use.

We encourage you and your referring providers to join the Radiology Support, Communication and Alignment NetworkTM (R-SCAN). This free tool allows you to use AUC/CDS prior to Jan. 1. You can gain continuing medical education (CME) Credit and American Board of Radiology maintenance of certification Part 4 Credit.

The College is here to fend off more onerous requirements that are out there. We are also here to help you get ready for AUC/CDS use.

How have you prepared for the 2018 AUC mandate?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below and join the discussion on Engage (login required).

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