October 14, 2016

ACR Presents 22 Codes at RUC Meeting

The American College of Radiology (ACR) made recommendations for 22 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) billing codes at the four-day Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) meeting Oct. 5-8 in Chicago.

This marked the first meeting where Kurt A. Schoppe, MD, represented the ACR as its RUC advisor. He had served as the RUC alternate advisor from April 2013. Ezequiel “Zeke” Silva III, MD, FACR, the former ACR RUC advisor, now holds the radiology seat on the RUC panel.

For the October meeting, the ACR submitted recommendations for the following code families:

  • MRI lower extremities
  • MRI abdomen
  • MRI pelvis
  • MRA head
  • MRA neck
  • Insertion of catheter
  • Insertion of peripherally insert central catheter (PICC)
  • Angiography of extremities
  • MRI breast
  • Injection for knee arthrography
Many of these tabs required multi-specialty collaboration. The ACR coordinated with the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Society of Vascular Surgery, Society of Interventional Radiology and American Society for Neuroradiology to submit physician work and practice expense recommendations to the AMA for consideration.

In addition to Schoppe, Daniel Wessell, MD; Jonathan Flug, MD; and Andy Moriarity, MD, represented the ACR. In particular, Wessell and Flug assisted with the presentations for the MRI lower extremities, MRI abdomen and MRI pelvis families.

Moriarity attended the RUC meeting as a first-time observer. He noted, “Patients, radiologists and ACR members are well represented by our knowledgeable RUC advisors and ACR staff who work diligently on all issues relevant to our specialty. The future success of our practices and profession relies on both a deep understanding and contribution to evolving payment models while also continuing the strong work and advocacy for current practice patterns that have supported radiology throughout the years.”

The RUC-approved values will be shared with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which will perform its own internal review and may make refinements it feels are appropriate. CMS will release proposed values for comment in the proposed rule of the 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

The ACR is gearing up for the January 2017 RUC meeting. We anticipate RUC surveys will be circulated the first week of November. If you receive a survey for a service that you perform, we encourage you to complete it as soon as possible, as this RUC cycle is extremely short. We truly appreciate our members’ essential support during the RUC survey process. The value recommendations presented to the RUC are based on survey data randomly collected from members of the participating societies.

Please direct your questions about the RUC process to Stephanie Le at sle@acr.org or 800-227-5463 Ext. 4584.