January 23, 2020

ACR Addresses Five Code Families at January 2020 RUC Meeting

The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) presented five code families to the American Medical Association/Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) for valuation at the update committee’s January meeting in Phoenix.

The following code families were discussed:

  • X-ray of the eye
  • Venography
  • Medical physics dose evaluation
  • Fine needle aspiration
  • 3-D rendering with interpretation and report

Kurt Schoppe, MD, ACR RUC Advisor, along with Lauren Golding, MD, ACR alternate RUC advisor, and Andrew Moriarity, MD, presented physician work and practice expense recommendations for the X-ray of the eye and venography codes.

Clinical experts Gerald White, MD, and Richard Morin, MD, assisted with the presentation for practice expense inputs for medical physics dose evaluation, addressing procedural questions to support the recommended times.

The fine needle aspiration and 3-D rendering codes were identified in the 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule as potentially misvalued.

The new visit complexity add-on code for evaluation and management services was also discussed.

Ezequiel Silva III, MD, FACR, and William Donovan, MD, MPH, served on the RUC panel as the radiology RUC member and alternate RUC member, respectively.

Andrew Rosenkrantz, MD, Association of University Radiologists RUC advisor, and Michael Booker, MD, Radiological Society of North America RUC advisor, supported the ACR’s economics team. Howard Fleishon, MD, FACR, ACR board vice chair, Elizabeth Levin, MD, and Dustin Gress, ACR senior advisor for medical physics, were the ACR’s invited guests.

As a first-time observer, Fleishon shared his impressions: “The work of our ACR and radiology representatives at the RUC and CPT meetings has weighty impact for our profession and our patients. Our economics staff along with physician volunteers do incredible work to distinguish our delegation as trusted and effective. We have a deep team from ACR Residents and Fellows Section and Young and Early Career Physicians’ Section who participate in the process as they prepare to be our future leaders.”

Levin shared similar sentiments: “I was fortunate to attend my first RUC meeting, which provided me with a window into the complex and meticulous RUC process. The dynamic and ever-developing field of radiology requires the sort of commitment, knowledge and professionalism I saw demonstrated by the radiologists and ACR staff at the meeting. The experience enhanced my appreciation of how critical it is that we, as physicians, remain informed participants in this process.”

Discussions at the RUC meeting are confidential. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will address these value recommendations in the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

Preparations for the April 2020 RUC meeting will begin within the next month.

Please direct your questions to Stephanie Le at sle@acr.org or 800-227-5463, ext. 4584.