January 06, 2017

ACR to CMS Implement Decision Support as Planned

The American College of Radiology (ACR) has asked the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to adhere to the planned Jan. 1, 2018, implementation date for mandated ordering provider application of appropriate use criteria and clinical decision support for advanced diagnostic imaging services billed to Medicare.

The ACR request was included in written comments submitted Dec. 22 to CMS on the Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC)/Clinical Decision Support (CDS) provisions of the 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Final Rule.

The ACR is prepared to execute its AUC program on the planned Jan. 1, 2018, implementation date and can assist CMS in achieving the implementation date.

The ACR's AUC and a delivery mechanism capable of housing multiple AUCs have already been integrated and widely deployed with major electronic health record solutions. Further, the free ACRSelect® web portal, which provides access to ACR’s and other appropriate use criteria, is operational. The portal provides ordering providers with access to AUC and give them the ability to generate and share evidence of their AUC consultations without integrated access.

In its Dec. 22 comments, the ACR encouraged CMS to take several additional actions described previously in the College’s proposed rule comment letter to maintain transparency in the AUC program. The ACR asked the Agency to release applications from approved, qualified provider-led entities (PLEs) detailing how they meet the requirements laid out in the 2016 MPFS final rule as well as the forthcoming applications for the qualified decision support mechanisms (QDSMs).

The ACR also commented on the final list of priority clinical areas for use in determining physician outliers, the qualifications and application process for the QDSMs and claims processing for program implementation.

Please direct your questions about the 2017 MPFS final rule or the ACR comments about the rule to Katie Keysor, ACR director of economics and health policy, at kkeysor@acr.org.