October 06, 2017

AMA Questions Anthem Outpatient Imaging Policy

The American Medical Association (AMA) recently sent a letter to Craig Samitt, MD, executive vice president and chief clinical officer of Anthem, echoing concerns expressed by the American College of Radiology (ACR) about Anthem’s recent outpatient imaging policy.

The policy, which is currently in effect in nine states, uses Anthem-owned radiology benefit manager AIM to effectively deny coverage for outpatient imaging services, with exceptions possible only on a case-by-case basis.

The AMA shares our concern that this policy will negatively impact patient choice. It would interfere with the relationship between patient and physician and impact the patient’s continuity of care.

This policy may especially impact patients in inner cities and rural areas where a local hospital outpatient setting may be the most accessible access point for advanced imaging.

The ACR is especially concerned that this policy is a first step toward the commoditization of imaging services. We would welcome support from the broader physician community for our position against this arbitrary and unwise policy. We will fight to have it repealed.

See the ACR’s Anthem Outpatient Imaging Policy Resources Page for more information on how you can help.