October 09, 2019

ACR Presents Five Codes at the October 2019 RUC Meeting

The American College of Radiology (ACR) presented five codes to the American Medical Association/Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) for valuation during the October 2019 meeting in Chicago.

The following code families were discussed:

  • Diagnostic and Screening CT of the Chest
  • Medical Physics Dose Evaluation

Lauren Golding, MD, ACR alternate RUC advisor, and Andrew Moriarity, MD, presented both families with support from content experts Debra Dyer, MD, and Richard Morin, MD.

Dyer assisted with the four CT of the chest codes, including a new CPT code for lung cancer screening. Dyer shared the following sentiment about working with the ACR RUC physicians: “I want to commend the radiologists on the Economics team who volunteer their time and work so hard on behalf of our profession. Their knowledge and experience are extraordinary, and the preparation and talents of these folks were quite visible at the meeting. I was so honored and proud to work with our Economics team and represent the American College of Radiology at the RUC.”

Morin addressed questions from the RUC panel regarding the practice expense (PE) inputs, such as clinical staff activities, equipment and supplies. All relate to the performance of the new medical physics dose evaluation code. The panel requested that the specialty perform a PE survey to define the clinical times required for this code.

Ezequiel Silva III, MD, FACR, and William Donovan, MD, MPH, served on the RUC panel at the meeting 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 Economics team.

Cindy Yuan, MD, and Ronald Mercer, MD, both participants in the ACR Moorefield Fellowship, attended as ACR guests and first-time observers of the RUC process. Of his experience, Mercer stated, “My first RUC experience instilled in me a strong sense of pride for how radiology advocates for the care it provides to patients. Despite the ever-changing landscape of health care policy, the strong staff and leadership in the ACR allows our field to remain at the forefront.”

Yuan attended CPT Editorial Meeting in Chicago in May when the new lung cancer screening code was created. She had the privilege of following the code through to the RUC. She shared the following thoughts about the RUC meeting, “It was certainly a different atmosphere from CPT, as every minute gets thoroughly scrutinized. Though it feels like a big room when you’re there, it’s incredible that so few people have such a large role in deciding the entire health care market.”

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will address these value recommendations in the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

The survey process for the January 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.