The biggest medical imaging-related news was a resolution that directs the AMA to lobby Congress to change the language and implementation of the current Medicare mandate that all advanced medical imaging exams (CT, MRI, nuclear) needs documentation that the order included consulting of clinician decision support (CDS) software. This is to ensure all imaging exams ordered fall under appropriate use criteria (AUC) set by various medical societies.
The goal of the legislation, which originated under the the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA), is to reduce costs associated with unnecessary, expensive imaging exams. However, numerous imaging societies have complained to CMS that the rule will cause undue administrative burden on radiologists. The policy also penalizes radiologists with non-payment if an order does not have CDS documentation. This is despite the fact that use the CDS software needs to come from the referring physicians and CDS documentation cannot be amended by the radiologist in the order.
Van Moore also discussed AMA's support of a policy that calls on Congress to take action against drug shortages to prevent problems in delivering healthcare. Medical imaging has faced a serious shortage of iodine contrast agents over the past couple months due to a COVID-19 shutdown of a manufacturing plant in China. This raised serious concerns about the stability of international supply chains.
The AMA resolution originally targeted a handful of every day drugs that have been on shortage and is impacting hospital care, but the contrast agent language was added at the meeting because of the serious impact on care it has had.
For more on the contrast shortage watch the VIDEO: Imaging contrast shortage is delaying procedures and causing rationing — Interview with Alan Matsumoto, MD.
Related AMA and Clinical Decision Support Content
VIDEO: AMA will ask Congress to revise clinical decision support mandate — Interview with ASNC delegates at AMA
VIDEO: Imaging societies ask Congress to repeal appropriate use decision support mandate — interview with Randall Thompson, MD, former ASNC president.
VIDEO: AMA president discusses gun control, physician burnout and scope creep — Interview with Gerald Harmon, MD