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Mammography rates increased after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) eliminated cost sharing for preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, according to a new study published by the New England Journal of Medicine.

One of healthcare’s most common debates is which of the many different breast cancer screening guidelines women should follow to receive the best possible care. The authors of a new study in the American Journal of Roentgenology ran a Monte Carlo computer simulation to put the screening mammography guidelines released by the American Cancer Society (ACS) in 2015 up against the updated recommendations released by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in 2016.

Radiation oncologists should be more directly involved in the formal education of medical students, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

New research published in Current Problems in Diagnostic Radiology suggests procedural training should be standardized during residency and competence in specific procedures should be achieved at its completion.

The Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), developed by CMS to pay physicians under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015, is one of many things today’s imaging leaders must understand to help their groups stay ahead. According to a recent study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, CMS exempts certain physicians from participating in MIPS, but many radiologists will find they must participate.

 

Recent Headlines

LDCT lung-cancer screening support spreads to House

Exactly one week after 45 U.S. Senators sent a letter to CMS urging the expeditious conclusion of the National Coverage Decision (NCD) for LDCT lung-cancer screening, 134 U.S. Representatives did the same, implying broad bipartisan support of access to the screening study for high-risk Medicare recipients.

Congressional subcommittee takes up the 'hospital premium'

The idea of equalizing prices between inpatient and outpatient sites has hovered over the hospital industry like a dark cloud in recent years; on Wednesday, a House subcommittee on Health heard input from a variety of interested parties, including MedPAC, which has recommended site neutral-payments for over a decade.

CMS eases supervision rules for ASCs, radiopharmaceutical prep

In a final rule intended to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden, CMS has abandoned the radiologist oversight requirement for radiologic services performed in ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), report attorneys Paul Pitts, JD, and Thomas Greeson, JD, Reed Smith, Falls Church, VA. The new rule instead requires ASCs to appoint a qualified individual under state law who can assure that services performed as integral to surgical procedures are provided under the ASC Conditions of Coverage.

MEDCAC vote chills hopes for LDCT lung-cancer screening coverage

Lung and bronchus cancer is most frequently diagnosed among people aged 65-74, precisely a population for which Medicare is responsible, yet a CMS advisory panel gave low-dose CT lung-cancer screening a vote of low confidence in a meeting today in Baltimore.

ACR Asks MEDCAC to Back LDCT; AIM Voices Protocol, Tech Concerns

When it meets in Baltimore on April 30 to weigh recommending Medicare coverage of low-dose CT lung-cancer screening, the Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) will consider public comments from 16 speakers including four radiologists, a radiation oncologist and a radiation physicist.  

The NLST Puzzle

Three years ago, the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) reported a 20% reduction in lung-cancer mortality with annual low-dose CT (LDCT) screening.

The Beleaguered Mammogram: Controversy, Damage Control, and Shortcomings

The latest attack on mammography raises a couple of compelling questions for radiology: how to manage the damage and how to improve results

Swiss panel calls for an end to mammography screening programs

A Swiss medical ethicist and a clinical epidemiologist reveal in the New England Journal of Medicine that the Swiss Medical Board has called for a moratorium on any new screening mammography programs in Switzerland and a time limit on those that currently exist.

Mammography takes another blow

In the latest of a series of articles questioning the value of annual mammograms for breast cancer screening, a meta-analysis of previously published studies estimates that mammography reduces the overall breast cancer rate by just about 19% (and closer to 15% in women aged 40 to 50), with an equivalent percentage of over diagnosis in younger women.

Imaging appropriateness rides in on SGR fix

In a landmark achievement for the American College of Radiology, Congress passed legislation that preserves physician reimbursement for 12 months and requires them to consult appropriateness criteria prior to ordering advanced imaging for Medicare patients.

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