April 8, 2013
The 2013 AAPM/RSNA Imaging Physics Residency Grant Recipients are:
University of Alabama at Birmingham - Michael Yester
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health - Frank Ranallo
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center - Lawrence Rothenberg
AAPM TG Report 124 "A Guide for Establishing a Credentialing and Privileging Program for Users of Fluoroscopic Equipment in Healthcare Organizations" is now available on the AAPM Reports list
The American College of Radiology has released the newest version of the ACR Appropriateness Criteria® (ACR AC). This latest release includes 24 updated and 4 new topics from various expert panels. There are now 186 topics with more than 900 variants. The attached Table of Contents identifies the revised and new topics.
The ACR AC are evidence-based guidelines to assist referring physicians and other health care providers in making the most appropriate imaging or treatment decision for a specified medical condition. They are developed by expert panels in diagnostic imaging, interventional radiology, and radiation oncology. More than 80 physicians from specialties outside of radiology/radiation oncology participate in the development and review of the topics.
The updated ACR AC can be accessed free of charge for individual users on the ACR web site at www.acr.org/ac.
Sequestration Cuts Kick In For Medicare Claims
Starting April 1, 2013 Medicare claims officially will be hit by the budget sequestration, according to an earlier memo CMS sent to providers and suppliers. The March 8th memo stated that all Medicare claims with dates of service or discharge would be subject to the 2 percent reduction in payment due to the sequester starting April 1st.
All Medicare providers will have their reimbursements cut by 2 percent, or about $10.84 billion in total spending reductions. The reduction will last from April through Sept. 30, 2021, unless Congress intervenes.
The CMS memo advises providers that while beneficiary payments for deductibles and coinsurance are not subject to the 2 percent payment reduction, Medicare payment to beneficiaries for unassigned claims is, and CMS urges providers and suppliers who bill claims on an unassigned basis to let beneficiaries know.
A claims payment adjustment will be applied to all claims after determining coinsurance, the deductible and any secondary payer adjustments, according to CMS. Amounts paid by the beneficiary, including the deductible and coinsurance, are not subject to the sequestration cut, meaning beneficiaries must pay the full amount. But Medicare payment to beneficiaries for unassigned claims is subject to the 2 percent reduction, the agency said.
Proposed Decision Memo for Positron Emission Tomography (FDG) for Solid Tumors
On March 7, CMS issued a national coverage analysis for positron emission tomography (CAG-00065R2) removing the national non-coverage of FDA approved oncological uses of PET expanding the ability of local contractors to determine coverage for these uses.
A. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposes to end the coverage with evidence development (CED) requirement for F18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) for oncologic indications contained in the Medicare National Coverage Determinations Manual. This will remove the current requirement for prospective data collection by the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR).
B. CMS proposes that, subject to the exception in C below, one F18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) is covered when used to guide subsequent physician management of anti-tumor treatment strategy after completion of initial anticancer therapy. Coverage of any additional FDG PET scans used to guide subsequent physician management of anti-tumor treatment strategy after completion of initial anticancer therapy will be determined by local Medicare Administrative Contractors.
C. CMS proposes that FDG PET for subsequent anti-tumor treatment strategy for beneficiaries with cancers of the prostate is not reasonable and necessary and therefore is nationally non-covered by Medicare.
In order to maintain an open and transparent process, CMS is seeking comments on their proposal.
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