ACR 2021 Goes Virtual: What to Expect

Richard Duszak Jr., MD, FACR, American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Council Speaker, contributed this post.

What was once considered an unprecedented time has become our new normal. As physical and online shopping carts continue to fill with face masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning products, your ACR Council Steering Committee (CSC) has been working diligently with ACR staff to plan for the ACR 2021 Annual Meeting.

The CSC recently shared its decision to conduct the ACR 2021 Annual Meeting virtually May 15-19, 2021. We’ve decided to move forward in a virtual format recognizing that many of our attendees are under travel restrictions and unable to attend an in-person meeting, and prioritizing the safety of all ACR members, staff and their families.

I’m looking forward to sharing additional details about our plans and hearing from many of you during the ACR Council Town Hall on Dec. 16 at 8pm ET. Please join me and Council Vice Speaker Amy Kotsenas, MD, FACR, to discuss lessons learned from ACR 2020, feedback and opportunities for improvement, and how we can expand ACR 2021 to make it a much richer meeting experience. We’ll also provide an opportunity for participants to share their ideas for improvement and to ask questions.

I hope you’ll register to attend the ACR Council Town Hall. Save your spot today, and submit your questions in advance to csc@acr.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

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

The Fight Is Not Over on Radiology Cuts From Medicare E/M Changes

Howard B. Fleishon, MD, MMM, FACR, Chair of the American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Board of Chancellors, contributed this post.

The FY 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule has been released. Although the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) failed to protect patients and providers from the impact of drastic reimbursement cuts due to evaluation and management (E/M) code changes, the fight is not over.

An American College of Radiology® (ACR®)-led coalition of more than 50 medical associations continues to press Congress to include “Holding Providers Harmless from Medicare Cuts During COVID-19 Act of 2020,” (HR 8702) protections in any legislation passed before it adjourns at the end of December.  

HR 8702 allows pay increases for providers who often bill for E/M services but avoids corresponding cuts to radiologists and other providers due to Medicare’s budget neutrality requirements.

As ACR members, all of us need to continue to support ACR’s ongoing efforts to pass these protections.

Tell your senators to stop these drastic cuts.

Now is the time for our radiology community to come together.

Now is the time to act.       

Now is the time to protect our patients and our practices.

Together, we can do this. 

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below or on social media using #StopTheCuts.

Why Should You Implement Core Privileging?

Philip S. Cook, MD, FACR, FSIR, Chair, American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Interventional Radiology Core Privileges Oversight Committee, and Alan H. Matsumoto, MD, FACR, FSIR, Chair, ACR Commission on Interventional and Cardiovascular Radiology, contributed this post.

Philip S. Cook, MD, FACR, FSIR

The ACR Interventional Credentials Overview Committee was created in June 2017 to address the desire of radiologists to use the core privileging process for image-guided procedures.

Since 2019, the ACR has advocated for and supports the use of the core privileging process. More specifically, the ACR encourages the use of the core privileging process by diagnostic and interventional radiologists for image-guided procedures rather than having to document the volume and specific numbers of procedures to obtain privileges for multiple, different but related, procedures. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Emergency Physicians and Society for Vascular Surgery currently advocate for core privileges for their respective specialties.

Alan H. Matsumoto, MD, FACR, FSIR

Privileges are granted by hospitals or healthcare systems to providers who are appropriately credentialed, a process that is variable from institution to institution. To facilitate core privileging, the ACR Commission on Interventional and Cardiovascular Radiology created the Core Privileging Library as a tool to help institutions and diagnostic and interventional radiologists implement an image-guided core privileging process. The library includes useful background information, and importantly, core privileging templates from several large, urban university practices, a multi-specialty clinic and a small community/rural referral hospital as examples of documents that may be repurposed as needed.

The core privileging process has several advantages. First and foremost, it simplifies and streamlines the privileging process for both the physician and medical staff office, especially given the growing number of facilities at which a single provider must obtain privileges. Second, the process uses a rigorous method for privileging to ensure patient safety while not limiting patient access to needed image guided procedures. Lastly, core privileging recognizes the translational nature of a physician’s skill set, training and expertise. 

We hope that this resource will help diagnostic and interventional radiologists with the privileging and re-privileging process for image-guided procedures.

  • Visit acr.org to learn more about the Core Privileging Library and to access an introductory guide and other useful resources to assist with implementation.

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