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Policy

 

When the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) passed, CMS established two ways for physicians to be rewarded for providing high-value care through a Quality Payment Program (QPP): the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and advanced alternative payment models. Since the beginning, physicians have been able to participate in MIPS as an individual or as a group—but now they can also participate as a virtual group.

The FDA authorized U.S. marketing of the first blood test with the ability to evaluate concussion, or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), in adults, the agency announced in a statement Wednesday.

In addition to routine follow-up phone calls, clinicians are obligated to provide women with a written summary of mammography reports once their results become available, the FDA wrote in its most recent update on the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA).

Kentucky expanded Medicaid coverage in 2014, taking its cue from the Affordable Care Act and including individuals and families with incomes up to 33 percent above the federal poverty line. The state’s uninsured rate dropped from 19 percent to 7 percent as a result. According to a study in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, the move also improved the quality of breast cancer care.

The harms associated with screening for ovarian cancer outweigh its documented benefits, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announced today in its first recommendation on the subject since 2012.

 

Recent Headlines

The Clinical Decision-support Mandate: Now What?

An act of Congress opened the door for clinical decision-support for advanced imaging in U.S. hospitals: The radiologist is key to the initiative’s success

MGMA cries foul over high fees charged for EFT transactions

Just six months after implementation of the new electronic funds transfer (EFT) operating rules, the Medical Group Management Association has dashed off a letter to the CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner complaining that payors and clearinghouses are charging unreasonable fees to providers for EFT transactions, asking for guidance from the agency.

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.

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