April 13, 2020

American College of Radiology Updates ACR Appropriateness Criteria

ACR releases four new topics and 12 revised topics to support referring physicians and other providers in making the most appropriate imaging or treatment decisions

The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) today released an update to its ACR Appropriateness Criteria®, which includes 193 diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology topics with 942 clinical variants covering more than 1,680 clinical scenarios. This update includes four new and 12 revised topics. All topics include a narrative, evidence table and a literature search summary. Patient-friendly summaries – written with patients, for patients – are also available for a number of topics.

“Our goal for the appropriate use criteria is to create consistent behaviors for medical imaging and interventional radiology procedures for all patients,” said Frank J. Rybicki, MD, PhD, FACR, chair of the ACR Committee on Appropriateness Criteria. “The ACR Appropriateness Criteria continues to be a comprehensive and critical resource that helps providers fulfill the new Protecting Access to Medicare Act requirements while ensuring the highest-quality care.”

The new topics in today’s release are:

  1. Antenatal Hydronephrosis-Infant
  2. Imaging after Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction
  3. Nuchal Translucency Evaluation at 11 to 14 Weeks Gestational Age
  4. Postpartum Hemorrhage

Revised topics include:

  1. Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
  2. Acute Nonspecific Chest Pain-Low Probability of Coronary Artery Disease
  3. Acute Trauma to the Ankle
  4. Blunt Chest Trauma-Suspected Cardiac Injury
  5. Chronic Foot Pain
  6. Indeterminate Renal Mass
  7. Liver Lesion-Initial Characterization
  8. Pretreatment Evaluation and Follow-up of Endometrial Cancer
  9. Recurrent Lower Urinary Tract Infections in Females
  10. Second and Third Trimester Vaginal Bleeding
  11. Seizures-Child
  12. Vomiting in Infants

The ACR Appropriateness Criteria was first introduced in 1993 by expert panels in diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology to help providers make the most appropriate imaging or treatment decision for specific clinical conditions. These guidelines are reviewed annually to help enhance quality of care and contribute to the most efficacious use of radiology.

Referring physicians and other providers may use the ACR Appropriateness Criteria to fulfill new PAMA requirements that they consult appropriate use criteria prior to ordering advanced diagnostic imaging for Medicare patients. The ACR is designated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as a qualified Provider-Led Entity.

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

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