HCR: Imaging Society Takes Issue with Utilization Rates

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  • April 15, 2010
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The Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HR 4872), signed into law March 30, sets the assumed utilization rate at 75 percent for the practice expense portion of advanced diagnostic imaging services. The fact that this bill delays assumed utilization rate changes from Jan. 1, 201o (as in the Senate-passed bill) to Jan. 1, 2011, or that low-tech imaging, such as ultrasound, X-rays, and EKGs, are excluded from this adjustment, does not make at least one imaging society feel any better.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) says it “strongly opposes” this legislation, saying it will:

  • “shift necessary imaging care to large hospitals;
  • increase the cost to Medicare of appropriate imaging;
  • produce longer commutes and wait times for patients to receive care; and
  • cause potentially life threatening delays in diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other serious illnesses.”

To back up this claim, the ACR sites a recent Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) study, which found that rural providers use scanners only 48 percent of office hours and that the national average is only 54 percent.
Read the ACR press release for further details.


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