American College of Radiology unveils new imaging appropriateness criteria

The American College of Radiology unveiled new imaging appropriateness criteria covering several clinical scenarios on Monday.

ACR’s update includes five fresh topics and eight revisions to previous ones. The college first rolled out its influential criteria in 1993, offering the specialty evidence-based guidelines to aid in selecting proper imaging exams and guided procedures. It now offers 216 topics spanning 2,400 clinical scenarios.

“ACR appropriateness criteria serve a vital role in helping to ensure that patients receive the necessary, quality care that they expect from their healthcare providers,” Mark Lockhart, MD, chair of the Committee on Appropriateness Criteria, said Oct. 11. “These criteria are recognized as the national standard in radiologic care.”

New scenarios include imaging of a child with suspected Crohn’s disease, facial trauma following a primary survey, axillary masses, newly diagnosed scrotal abnormalities, and pediatric musculoskeletal infections. The guidelines offer color-coded categories of appropriateness, along with relative radiation levels for each exam.

Meanwhile, the eight updates cover everything from staging of colorectal cancer to imaging after shoulder arthroplasty. Providers can consult the materials to fulfill Protecting Access to Medicare Act requirements to consult appropriate-use criteria before ordering imaging, with the feds designating ACR as a qualified provider-led entity.

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