The American College of Radiology (ACR) presented 22 new and revised codes to the American Medical Association/Relative Value Scale Update Committee (AMA/RUC) for valuation Oct. 1–3, 2015, in Chicago.
The 22 codes comprise five different code families surveyed by the ACR over the summer: biliary procedures, fluoroscopic guidance, intracranial vasospasm, moderate sedation and abdominal aortic aneurysm screening ultrasound.
Over the course of three days, ACR RUC advisor, Ezequiel “Zeke” Silva III, MD, FACR, and alternate RUC advisor, Kurt Schoppe, MD, presented practice expense and physician work value recommendations for the 22 codes. These recommendations are a result of weeks of planning and analysis of survey data by the College’s volunteer physicians and advisors.
The ACR appreciates the important work of its expert volunteers, and it thanks members who participated in the random survey process. Data collected from the completed questionnaires directly influence the value recommendations. The values approved by the RUC Panel for each code will be shared with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for consideration and publication in the 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. However, CMS is not tied to the RUC-approved values and may refine the values following internal review.
Daniel Wessell, MD, and Jonathan Flug, MD, also attended the Chicago meeting to observe the RUC process. Flug considered it a remarkable experience that helped him appreciate the full breadth of the RUC evaluation process and the importance of the survey data provided by the individual ACR members to drive discussion. The reason why surveys are crafted in their particular format became clear.
“The experience of the ACR staff and the RUC advisors stands out among the other societies present and has added another reason to the list of why the ACR is so important to the survival and success of the practice of radiology,” he said.
Preparations for the January 2016 RUC meeting will begin in mid-October, and surveys will be launched within the next few weeks. If you receive a survey and can respond to questions about the designated procedure from your clinical experience, we encourage you to complete and submit the survey as soon as possible.
Please direct your questions about the RUC process to Stephanie Le at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-227-5463 Ext. 4584.