CMS drops plan for additional imaging reimbursement cuts
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has abandoned its plan to adopt another 25 percent technical reimbursement cut for imaging on contiguous body parts during the same exam session. The cuts would have been part of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) proposed rule for 2007. An initial 25 percent cut was already imposed at the beginning of 2006.
The agency reasoned that "given the expected interaction between the multiple procedure imaging policy and the further imaging payment reductions mandated by section 5102(b) of the DRA (Deficit Reduction Act of 2005)…along with the new information we have received from the ACR (American College of Radiology) on the multiple imaging procedure policy as it applies to common combinations of imaging services, we believe it would be prudent to maintain the multiple imaging payment reduction at its current 25 percent level while we continue to examine the appropriate payment levels," the CMS rule states.
The proposed rule also indicates that PET and radiation oncology would be included in the DRA imaging reimbursement cuts, although just two radiation oncology codes (77417 and 77421) will be impacted.