February 15, 2018

ACR Backs NCD for MRI of Cardiac Rhythm Disorders

The American College of Radiology, American College of Cardiology, Heart Rhythm Society and Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, are jointly supporting proposed Medicare national coverage for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (CAG-00399R4) of patients with cardiac rhythm disorders.

The four societies submitted a joint comment letter on February 18 to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). It recommends coverage conditions for MRI performance necessary for patients with implanted pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, cardiac resynchronization therapy pacemakers or cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators that do not have Food and Drug Administration labeling specifically for MRI compatibility.

The comments address specific exclusion criteria and ask for clarification about supervision during MRI scanning.

The societies also commended CMS for proposing revisions to the language in section 220.2(C)(1) of the MRI National Coverage Determination (NCD) and provided revised language for the following sections: 

  • 3.ii.a: Less than or equal to six weeks since a patient’s device implantation or lead revision or surgical modification
  • 3.ii.a: MRI field strength is ≤ 1.5 Tesla; normal operating mode
  • 3.ii.b: Pacemaker-dependent patients
  • 3.ii.c: The CIED has no fractured, epicardial, or abandoned leads
  • 3.ii.e: Facility Check List: Direct Supervision Criteria

CMS’s expected completion date for the proposed NCD is April 11. The ACR will monitor developments and report to members about significant changes to the proposed NCD’s status.