March 08, 2018

ACR Proposes 2018 Diagnostic Imaging Quality Measures Set

Early in 2018, an ACR multidisciplinary technical expert panel (TEP) developed and sought public comments on a new set of quality measures, Diagnostic Imaging 2018 Quality Measures, for potential use in the ACR National Radiology Data Registry (NRDR®) and in the CMS Quality Payment Program (QPP).

These performance measures are designed to promote population health through clinical effectiveness, care coordination and patient safety to ultimately improve patient care and outcomes.

Measures Under Consideration

The proposed 2018 quality measures focus on issues over which radiologists have more direct control (including diagnostic quality), as well as on integrating new guidelines and resources that the ACR helped to develop (including incidental findings white papers and the various RADS tools).

The new measures are:

  • Measure 1: Use of Structured Reporting in Prostate MRI
  • Measure 2: Follow-up Recommendations for Incidental Findings of Renal Masses
  • Measure 3: Surveillance Imaging for Liver Nodules <10 mm in Patients at Risk for Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)
  • Measure 4: Use of Qualitative Assessment Criteria for Follow-Up Oncologic Imaging
  • Measure 5: Use of Quantitative Criteria for Follow-up PET Imaging
  • Measure 6: Radiation Sparing for Patients with Ventricular Shunts
  • Measure 7: Radiation Sparing for Patients with Suspicion of Stone Disease

In addition to quality measures, the TEP is also evaluating potential measures that rely on use of technology with the goal that CMS may consider use of these to gain credit under the MIPS Advancing Care Information (ACI). The TEP is also working with the ACR Commission on Patient- and Family-Centered Care to develop patient-focused measures, such as patient surveys and patient-reported outcomes relevant to imaging and radiology.

In January and February, the panel collected public comments on the proposed measures. Panel members are now analyzing that feedback to make appropriate modifications and determine which evidence-based quality improvement measures will move into testing.

Importance of New Quality Measures

ACR is working continuously to methodically develop meaningful new performance measures for the radiology specialty. Here’s why the new measure sets are important:

  • Most importantly, providing radiologists with meaningful measures allows practices to ensure ongoing quality improvement and enhance patient care.
  • Beyond QPP, many radiologists can use the quality measures as tools to meet annual system, institution or practice goals for quality improvement and potentially achieve bonuses.
  • New measures are critical to replacing or supplementing older quality measures “topped out” by radiology practices (where the measures already show high rates of performance).
  • Having a large catalog of radiology-centric measures will allow a wider range of radiologists to participate in quality reporting.
  • These new measures will give radiologists the best opportunity to avoid penalties and maximize reimbursement under the QPP.

Read more about the importance of meaningful quality measures in the Q&A with David J. Seidenwurm, MD, FACR, Chair of the ACR Metrics Committee.

Testing Volunteers Needed for Diagnostic Imaging 2017 Quality Measures

The next phase of developing quality measures involves a rigorous testing process before the measures are submitted to CMS for endorsement under the QPP. Download the detailed measures list.

The technical expert panel is looking for volunteers to help evaluate the proposed 2017 quality measures to ensure they are measurable, meaningful and achievable for most radiologists in actual practice settings.

If you are interested in volunteering to help us test the proposed measures in a real-world setting, please contact Karen Orozco at