January 20, 2017

ACR Presents Seven Codes at January RUC Meeting

The American College of Radiology (ACR) presented recommendations for seven new or revised Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) billing codes Jan. 11–14 at the American Medical Association/Specialty Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) meeting in Bonita Springs, FL.

The ACR’s RUC advisor, Kurt Schoppe, MD, worked with the American Society of Neuroradiology, the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR), the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American College of Rheumatology, the American Podiatric Medical Association and other specialty societies to present physician work and/or practice expense recommendations for the following code families:

  • CT soft tissue of the neck
  • Cryoablation of pulmonary tumors
  • Ultrasound of extremity

The ACR also supported the SIR and the American Society for Radiation Oncology in their recommendations for:

  • Endovascular aortic repair
  • Treatment of incompetent veins
  • Peri-prostatic implantation of biodegradable material

Daniel Wessell, MD, MPH, represented the ACR in his first official meeting as its alternate RUC advisor, and Ezequiel Silva III, MD, sat in the radiology seat on the RUC panel. Silva received the “Best RUC Reviewer Award” at the meeting for his evaluation of numerous code valuation proposals by other specialties.

McKinley Glover, MD, and Andrew Rosenkrantz, MD, attended the January RUC meeting as guests to observe the valuation process for new and revised CPT codes. Of his experience, Rosenkrantz said, “The ACR’s RUC advisors and staff have incredible skill and experience in payment policy and regulations, providing enormous value to the society’s membership and radiology at large.”

Glover, chair of the ACR Resident and Fellow Section, echoed this sentiment. “It was extremely valuable to see how the ACR continually works to ensure that the value of the radiologist’s work in patient care is reflected in payment policy,” he said.

The January RUC meeting was the last formal session of the CPT 2018 cycle. Codes presented at its April and October 2016 and January 2017 meetings will be finalized by CMS for the 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. It is important to note that CMS may refine values approved by the RUC, based on its own internal review.

The ACR is already looking to the April 2017 RUC meeting, the first of the 2019 cycle. We hope to launch the surveys for the April cycle by the first week of March. Survey participation is extremely important to the RUC process, and we encourage all members who receive an invitation to complete a RUC survey, to please participate if they perform the procedure.

Please direct your questions about the RUC process by email to Stephanie Le or by phone to 800-227-5463, extension 4584.