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AMIC Endorses Senate Finance Committee's Imaging Proposals

May 1, 2009
by root
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The Washington-based Access to Medical Imaging Coalition (AMIC) offered its support for proposed policies regarding medical imaging as well as the Senate Finance Committee’s goal of providing universal coverage for all Americans.

Specifically, AMIC endorses the Finance Committee’s proposal to promote adherence to appropriateness criteria for imaging services. The designation of nationally recognized, physician-developed appropriateness criteria, together with an education and confidential feedback program to report patterns of adherence to those criteria, will provide the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) with necessary information to limit inappropriate imaging while maintaining patients’ access to needed imaging services, it says.

AMIC also strongly supports the establishment of a nationwide Diagnostic Imaging Exchange Network that would allow physicians to access a patient’s past imaging studies in order to determine the necessity, safety and appropriateness of ordering a new scan. AMIC also supports the transparency in self-referrals policy proposal that would require that physicians disclose their financial interest in pre-identified imaging services.

AMIC remains very concerned about the potential inclusion of a policy that would use radiology benefit managers (RBMs) to control Medicare beneficiaries’ access to certain imaging services. RBMs are for-profit management companies established by the health insurance industry to deny coverage for imaging services.

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