January 24, 2019

ACR Presents 16 Code Families at January RUC Meeting

The American College of Radiology (ACR) presented over 60 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes for valuation at the January 2019 American Medical Association (AMA) Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) meeting in Fort Myers, FL.

The following code families were discussed:

• X-ray of the toe
• X-ray of the heel
• X-ray of the sinuses
• X-ray of the skull
• X-ray of the neck
• X-ray of the sacrum
• X-ray of the pelvis
• X-ray of the elbow or forearm
• X-ray of the spine
• X-ray of the upper GI tract
• Lumbar puncture
• Bone biopsy
• Duplex scans
• Pericardiocentesis
• SPECT-CT
• Myocardial PET


Left to Right: Donovan, Wessell, Schoppe, Silva

This was an extremely busy survey cycle for radiology. While we collaborated with other specialties, such as the Society of Interventional Radiology, American Society of Neuroradiology, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Podiatric Medical Association, for several of the families, the ACR was responsible for leading the majority of them.

ACR RUC Advisor, Kurt Schoppe, MD, and ACR Alternate RUC Advisor, Daniel Wessell, MD, PhD, led presentations for most of the codes. They received support from Andrew Moriarity, MD, and Lauren Golding, MD.

With the large number of tabs, radiology was at the table for hours at a time, addressing questions from a panel of over 30 physicians from different medical specialties. Ezequiel Silva III, MD, served as the radiology RUC panel member and William Donovan, MD, MPH, served as the radiology alternate RUC panel member.

Association of University Radiologists RUC Advisor, Andrew Rosenkrantz, MD, and Radiological Society of North America RUC Advisor, Michael Booker, MD, proved to be invaluable to the radiology RUC team. They were deeply involved with helping draft and review material for submission during the months-long RUC process.

The January 2019 RUC meeting was Wessell’s last as the ACR alternate RUC advisor. He attended his first RUC meeting in January 2015 as the musculoskeletal clinical specialist, assisting with the presentation for the X-ray of the hip and X-ray of the spine (for scoliosis evaluation) codes.

By the January 2016 meeting, Wessell was participating in an official capacity as the ACR alternate advisor. During his RUC career, Wessell attended 13 RUC meetings and presented over 315 radiology codes for valuation.

Schoppe shared the following sentiment: “The ACR RUC team has benefitted greatly from Dr. Wessell’s contributions. He brought new methods of analysis, a wealth of clinical experience, and served as a valuable mentor to both the more senior and junior members of the team. As he completes his tour of duty, the team is better now than when he joined, thanks to him.”

The value recommendations discussed at the RUC are confidential and will be submitted to CMS for consideration in the 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

The next RUC meeting will be held April 24-27 in Chicago. The survey cycle for the meeting will begin mid-February.

Please direct any questions to Stephanie Le at sle@acr.org or 800-227-5463 Ext. 4584.