January 18, 2018

ACR Makes Numerous Recommendations at RUC Meeting

In collaboration with other medical societies, the American College of Radiology (ACR), presented over 20 codes for valuation at the January 10–13 American Medical Association (AMA)/Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) meeting in San Diego.

The codes covered the following procedures:

MR-guided fine needle biopsy (FNA)
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)
Radioactive tracer
Peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line procedures
Dilation of urinary tract
Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS)
Ultrasound elastography (USE)
Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE)

Ezequiel Silva III, MD, FACR, and William Donovan, MD, MPH, FACR, served on the RUC panel as the radiology representative and alternate, respectively. Kurt Schoppe, MD, and Daniel Wessell, MD, PhD, represented the ACR as the RUC advisor and alternate advisor. Lauren Golding, MD, and Andrew Moriarity, MD, supported Schoppe and Wessell on the FNA, DXA and radioactive tracer tabs.

Eric Rubin, MD, the alternate CPT advisor for the Radiological Society of North America, played an integral role in helping to create the new CEUS, USE, and MRE codes. He collaborated with University of Southern California physicians Corinne Duerdulian, MD, and Suzanne Palmer, MD, as clinical specialists for the three code families and addressed clinical and procedural questions from the RUC panel.

The RUC meeting was a fascinating experience for Rubin, a first-time RUC attendee. “It allowed me to see the completion of the process that begins with CPT, where we create billing codes for procedures, and carries through to RUC where the ACR team engages to establish valuation for those codes,” he told Advocacy in Action. “Our dedicated CPT and RUC teams, including our incredible ACR staff, are achieving results for radiologists that will impact our profession for many years to come.”

Bibb Allen Jr., MD, FACR, a past ACR RUC advisor and radiology RUC panel member, and Michael Booker, MD, MBA, a radiology resident at the University of California-San Diego, and one of ACR’s Moorefield Fellows for 2018, also attended the meeting as observers.

The values approved at the RUC meeting will be shared with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for consideration. Once finalized by CMS, these codes and values will be published in the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for implementation January 1, 2019.

The RUC process is extremely fast-paced, and the ACR has already begun work for the April 2018 RUC since it is an extremely short cycle and we will be surveying about 30 codes. We anticipate that surveys will be launched by March 1. If you receive a request for a survey for a procedure that you perform, we encourage you to complete the survey as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about the RUC process, please direct them to Stephanie Le at sle@acr.org or 800-227-5463, Ext. 4584.