ACR rallying industry to fight more imaging cuts

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The ACR has issued an action alert for radiologists across the country in response to pending imaging cuts in this year’s Medicare bill.

Starting next week, the ACR will call on radiologists to participate in:

  • A call-in campaign focused on members of the Senate Finance Committee, who are negotiating the “pay-fors” in their bill next week;
  • An email campaign to House members asking that they sign a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying, “no new cuts” in the final bill;
  • Grassroots campaign by state chapters to target lawmakers involved in the House/Senate negotiations; and
  • An on-site phone-in campaign at RSNA.

The ACR has also responded to the delay from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid on new performance measures for the 2008 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

The ACR said that the “delay is unfortunate, since the new radiology measures would have opened up PQRI reporting to a much wider group within the radiology profession. The two stroke-related imaging measures which were eligible for reporting and bonus payment under the 2007 PQRI, will continue in 2008, with likely modification to expand reportability.”

While the 2007 PQRI provided for up to a 1.5 percent bonus (of all allowable Medicare physician fee schedule billings) during the last six months of 2007, the provision of a bonus for 2008 is uncertain. The ACR said that “Congress must make the decision of whether or not to fund a PQRI bonus in 2008, an issue which it must weigh alongside providing relief to the impending statutory 10.1 percent Medicare pay cut looming for physicians in 2008.”

The association said it hopes that the final budget bill that Congress approves for 2008 will “not only spare physicians from this draconian cut, but also fund a 2008 PQRI bonus and allow for inclusion of the eight new radiology measures in the PQRI in 2008, without waiting an additional year.”