Despite Congress changes, AMIC continues fight to delay Medicare cuts
The Access to Medical Imaging Coalition (AMIC) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) will continue fighting upcoming Medicare cuts in reimbursement for medical imaging services, despite the shift in control of Congress to Democrats. AMIC represents 39 patient, provider, physician, and manufacturer groups who are supporting legislation to delay the imaging reimbursement cuts, which were passed in the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act and are scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2007. NEMA is the leading trade association representing companies whose sales comprise over 90 percent of the global market for medical imaging.
"Medicare cuts in imaging services aren't Democrat or Republican; they aren't liberal or conservative," said AMIC Executive Director Tim Trysla. AMIC supports passage of the Access to Medicare Imaging Act (HR 5704, S 3795) which would delay implementation of the cuts in imaging reimbursement for two years while the Government Accountability Office studies the impact of the cuts on Medicare patients, particularly those in rural and medically underserved areas.
Trysla said that one of the themes that AMIC will underscore in its continuing efforts is that the final rules recently issued by CMS on the Physician Fee Schedule and Hospital Outpatient Payment systems did nothing to mitigate the damaging imaging cuts passed by Congress. "After you clear away all the rhetoric, the bottom line is obvious:  Massive reductions in payment for imaging services ranging from cancer care to heart treatments," said Trysla.  "There's no logic, so reason, no evaluation—but there it is."
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