U.S. Capitol

ACR Board of Chancellors Chair Paul H. Ellenbogen, MD, FACR, recently sent a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Finance Committee, House Ways and Means Committee, and House Energy and Commerce Committee, decrying use of diagnostic imaging cuts to defray costs of a delay in the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) contained in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

The letter pointed out that imaging reimbursement has been cut 12 times since 2006. It also warned of adverse effects on patient care resulting from these reductions, including a significant regulatory cut to (non-contrast) lower and upper extremity MRI reimbursement in the 2013 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

ACR Chair Ellenbogen expressed opposition to further imaging cuts and urged lawmakers to adopt a quality-based imaging utilization and management policy that would mandate use of appropriateness criteria in the ordering of advanced imaging studies.