RBMA in favor of updated PACS value

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The Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) issued a statement Friday saying it “recognizes and appreciates” a significant change CMS made in the 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) proposed rule. In the rule, released last week, CMS proposed that the cost estimate for a PACS workstation be changed from $2,501 to $5,557 to better reflect the numbers seen on submitted invoices.

Liz Quam, chair of the RBMA’s Federal Affairs Committee, said the first amount was determined based on the cost of a desktop computer, so it was inaccurate from the start.

“The RBMA had consistently held that the $2,501 amount was inappropriate because a desktop computer is not equivalent to a PACS workstation, which is a more complex and expensive system,” Quam said in the statement.

Quam called the news “a step in the right direction,” but said there is still work to be done related to other imaging-related costs.

“We look forward to continuing to work with CMS and alongside other industry stakeholders on converting practice expense inputs from film to digital using actual costs, including cost evidence gathered by our more than 2,000 members,” Quam said.