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Policy

 

Specialists agree that having either a family history of breast cancer or dense breast tissue puts patients at a greater risk of developing breast cancer. Where disagreement persists, however, is what exactly to do with that information. Some experts believe that providers should implement risk-based mammographic screening for breast cancer, but according to a new study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology, such a system could delay the detection and treatment of a large number of cancers.

Medical Imaging Still Seeing Its Fair Share of Breakthroughs 

Thirty-two states enacted breast density reporting legislation in the last eight years, but no such bills have been passed on a federal level. Could that soon change?

Temperatures are dropping and my front yard is covered in leaves, which means it’s almost time for another eventful RSNA annual meeting in Chicago. I’ve spent some with this year’s schedule and wanted to share five can’t-miss sessions.

Women should not stop undergoing regular mammography based on their age alone, according to a new analysis published by the American Journal of Roentgenology. The authors of the article explored both the benefits and the risks of screening mammography for women ages 75 years and older.

 

Recent Headlines

Physician trainees aren’t being properly prepared to order imaging

A recent study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology confirmed something that most radiologists likely already knew to be true: physician trainees do not have a firm grasp of the costs associated with medical imaging. 

Final MACRA ruling beneficial for radiologists

A greater number of imaging specialists may be able to take advantage of the “non-patient facing” exemption outlined in the final ruling on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), released today by CMS.

Why MACRA metrics are unsuited for radiology

Radiologists contribute to medicine in very specific ways. Imaging directly impacts patient outcomes, such as decreased mortality across a population that undergoes cancer screening. It can also reduce overall costs, for example, by demonstrating that an expensive surgery is not necessary. These factors combine to form imaging’s third impact: It can reduce the length of an episode of care. However, current metrics are not designed with these unique facets of radiology in mind.  

 
A nuclear option: FDA approves isotope generator

Jubilant Pharma announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for a rubidium-82 generator used to deliver patient doses of rubidium for imaging procedures. Named RUBY-FILL, the device is geared towards PET myocardial perfusion imaging and is expected to be available befor the end of the year.

Q&A: Danny Hughes on bundling and shared savings programs

Danny Hughes, PhD, Senior Director of the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute in Reston, Virginia, spoke to Radiology Business about radiology’s role in shared savings programs (SSPs), as well as future roles for imaging in these new reimbursement models.

Healthcare groups push for extension of mandate that guarantees coverage of annual mammograms

Multiple patient advocacy groups and healthcare organizations, including the American College of Radiology (ACR) and Society of Breast Imaging (SBI), are asking Congress to extend a federal mandate that requires insurance companies to fully insure annual mammograms for women 40 years old and older. 

Carestream gets renewed government contract for viewing software

Carestream will continue its five-year role as the U.S. government’s provider of digital imaging display systems. The company announced Sept. 28 it has won the Digital Imaging Network-Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (DIN-PACS IV).

 
ACR stands with Ways and Means on CMS's proposed screening cuts

Potential congressional plans for cutting Medicare reimbursement for low-dose CT lung cancer screenings would be a problem for patients and providers, the ACR said in the statement.

 
AHRA wants CMS to clarify, change some modifier codes, appropriate use regulations in proposed 2017 rules

Members of the Association for Medical Imaging Management (AHRA), one of the biggest radiology management organizations in the U.S., said it hopes CMS can clarify and possibly change certain x-ray claim modifier, payment classification and appropriate use policies in its 2017 rules. According to the AHRA comments, deadlines certain Appropriate Use Criteria rules might be unrealistic and some claims modifier rules are confusing.

 
Q&A: Laurie Fenton Ambrose on fighting CMS reimbursement cuts through ‘power in numbers’

On Sept. 6, more than 80 patient advocacy groups, health providers and medical associations published a letter that urged CMS not to follow through with the LDCT lung cancer screening reimbursement cuts. Laurie Fenton Ambrose, president and CEO of Lung Cancer Alliance, spoke with Radiology Business about the importance of LDCT screening, the work Lung Cancer Alliance has done to increase screening access and more. 

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