NCQDIS and 30+ health industry groups urge Congress to revisit imaging cuts

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The National Coalition for Quality Diagnostic Imaging Services (NCQDIS) and 30 other medical industry and patient advocate groups sent a letter on March 1st asking Congress to reconsider the Medicare reimbursement cuts for diagnostic and interventional imaging services in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA). The letter, signed by health industry organizations representing more than 75,000 physicians and employing tens of thousands Americans, was sent to the House and Senate leadership.
    
The letter states that the DRA “would significantly cut Medicare reimbursement for the provision of diagnostic and international services. These life-saving diagnostic services are performed by a wide array of physician specialties in their offices and in freestanding centers. This provision singles out imaging services to absorb over one-third of all the Medicare payment reductions in the DRA.”
    
As the letter points out, these cuts were included without any public deliberation by either body of the Congress and there has been no analysis of the potential impact of this change in payment policy. “We fear that these cuts will have numerous unintended consequences, including potentially diminishing access to imaging services outside the hospital setting,” the letter states.
    
NCQDIS is asking Congress to fix the new provision before it goes into affect in 2007. The full text of the letter, with all the organizations who signed, can be accessed at http://ncqdis.org/misc/Big_Tent_HOUSE_Sign-on_Letter_3-1-06.pdf.