March 07, 2019

ACR Touts AUC as Cost-Saver to Senate HELP Committee

In a March 1 written response to a request for information (RFI), the American College of Radiology (ACR) described to the Senate Health, Education and Pensions (HELP) Committee why Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) and Clinical Decision Support (CDS) should be embraced as important solutions to “address America’s rising health care costs.”

The ACR letter was prepared after HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) issued an RFI on December 11, 2018, asking the healthcare community for specific steps Congress can take to lower health care costs, improve clinical outcomes and improve patient access their healthcare information.

The RFI offered the ACR an opportunity to reiterate the positive aspects of AUC/CDS and the relevance of the Patient Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) of 2014 for mandating their use to assist referring physicians when ordering advanced imaging procedures for Medicare patients. The College stressed its solution of the problem of escalating costs is to reduce duplicative and unnecessary imaging through the implementation of evidence-based AUC using CDS mechanisms at the point of care.

The ACR also emphasized Congress’ strong bipartisan support for PAMA and the potential for the federal government and patients to reap benefits from the program once it is fully implemented in 2020.