ACR policy institute to study imaging + payment models

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The American College of Radiology (ACR) has established the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute, which will examine the role of radiology in new healthcare delivery and payment models—particularly quality-based approaches to radiologic care and the impact of medical imaging on overall healthcare costs.

Named for radiology leader and luminary, Harvey L. Neiman, MD, the institute will conduct research regarding medical imaging use, quality and safety metrics, and human resources as medicine moves toward non-traditional value-based reimbursement and delivery. 

“Most of the existing research regarding radiology policy focuses solely on cost and utilization of imaging as standalone end points. This is an incomplete approach. The Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute will build on existing data and conduct new research to determine the impact of radiologic exams on downstream care and overall healthcare spending. As recognized experts in medical imaging, radiologists are uniquely positioned to perform this work. The ACR is proud to support these efforts which will serve as the basis for true, evidence-based medical imaging policy options and benefit all those who need care,” Bibb Allen, MD, chair of the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute board of directors, said in a release.

Much of the existing utilization data used by policymakers are out of date and not reflective of current patterns, according to ACR. Imaging use in Medicare has decreased since 2008 and Medicare spending on scans is the same now as it was in 2003. Imaging is also the slowest growing of all physician services among privately insured Americans, according to the Health Care Cost Institute.

“The Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute will more broadly examine how these lifesaving tools can best be implemented in evolving increasingly value-conscious health care delivery models and study the optimal role of radiologists in ensuring the quality, safety and efficiency of these vital exams while optimizing patient access. At present, lawmakers and regulators are making policy decisions about medical imaging without knowing their full effects on individual patients or the healthcare system as a whole. The institute will strive to answer many of these important questions,” Richard Duszak, Jr., MD, CEO of the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute, said in the release.