October 01, 2018

American College of Radiology Releases New Edition of ACR Appropriateness Criteria and Upgrades to Online Feedback Portal

Evidence-based guidelines cover several new and revised topics to assist referring physicians and other providers in making the most appropriate imaging or treatment decisions

Reston, VA (Oct. 1, 2018) – The American College of Radiology (ACR) today released an update to the ACR Appropriateness Criteria®, which includes 179 diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology topics with 898 clinical variants covering more than 1,560 clinical scenarios. This update includes three new and nine revised topics. All topics have a narrative, an evidence table and a literature search summary. An appendix that includes a strength of evidence assessment for each of the recommendations and additional details about the rating round tabulations is also available for new and revised topics in this release.

The ACR also re-launched an easier to use online feedback portal review.acr.org, with a series of enhancements to simplify the process for all engaged individuals to weigh in on clinical conditions that involve radiology procedures. For two months after each release, the College conducts a focused commenting period to collect feedback related to the topics included in the release. However, feedback and comments on any topic may be submitted at any time.

“These evidence-based guidelines, created and updated by an expert panel of radiologists and multispecialty teams, are recognized across the medical field as a national standard. They provide the backbone to support the College’s commitment to ensure that our patients get the right care for their medical conditions and that our patients avoid unnecessary care,” said Frank J. Rybicki, MD, PhD, FACR, chair of the ACR Committee on Appropriateness Criteria. “New enhancements to our web-based feedback tool now enable us to better track and manage feedback from a variety of sources, such as ACR members, other specialty physicians, patients, payers, and health care administrators. The College welcomes meaningful comments that enhance the dialogue to enhance patient care.”

The new topics in today’s release are: 

1. Lung Cancer Screening
2. Postmenopausal Subacute or Chronic Pelvic Pain
3. Suspected New-Onset and Known Nonacute Heart Failure

Recently revised topics include:

1. Acutely Limping Child Up to Age 5
2. Acute Respiratory Illness in Immunocompetent Patients
3. Breast Pain
4. Chronic Chest Pain-Noncardiac Etiology Unlikely: Low to Intermediate Probability of Coronary Artery Disease
5. Chronic Dyspnea-Noncardiovascular Origin
6. Chronic Knee Pain
7. Evaluation of the Symptomatic Male Breast
8. Management of Vertebral Compression Fractures
9. Right Lower Quadrant Pain-Suspected Appendicitis

The ACR Appropriateness Criteria, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, was first introduced in 1993 and provides the most comprehensive evidence-based guidelines for diagnostic imaging selection and image-guided interventional procedures.

Medical providers may consult the ACR Appropriateness Criteria to fulfill Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) requirements that they consult AUC prior to ordering advanced diagnostic imaging for Medicare patients. The ACR is designated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as a qualified Provider-Led Entity.

For more information about ACR Appropriateness Criteria, visit the ACR website.

To arrange an interview with any ACR member, contact Meghan Swope at 703-390-9822 or PR@acr.org.

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About the American College of Radiology

The American College of Radiology (ACR), founded in 1924, is a professional medical society dedicated to serving patients and society by empowering radiology professionals to advance the practice, science, and professions of radiological care.