Quality experts urge CMS to fold imaging Appropriate Use Criteria Program into other value initiatives – Radiology Business

Menard and colleagues suggested folding appropriate-imaging use into the federal agency’s broader Quality Payment Program initiatives. This approach, they wrote, would best serve patients, taxpayers, clinicians and CMS, with the latter recently considering paring down payment models to ease reporting requirements. As a second, “less effective” alternative, Menard and co-authors advised Congress and CMS to simplify PAMA, which they believe will improve the AUC program’s clinical, operational and administrative value.

Physician groups such as the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology have railed against the imaging quality initiative, advocating for its repeal, or a pause for re-examination. In a blog post this month, the society labeled AUC as “complex, administratively burdensome, unnecessary, [and] unworkable.” ASNC has helped lead a coalition of more than 30 medical societies that pushed for lawmakers to authorize a review of the program prior to July’s request from the House Appropriations Committee.

“Congress’ concerns with the AUC program are well-founded, and we suggest that CMS and Congress consider [these] two legislative approaches,” Menard et al. advised.

Others signing the Health Affairs blog included Keith Hentel, MD, a practicing emergency and musculoskeletal radiologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center; Ali Raja, MD, MBA, a practicing emergency physician also appointed to the Department of Radiology at Harvard Medical School; David W. Bates, MD, medical director of clinical and quality analysis, information systems for Partners HealthCare System; and Ramin Khorasani, MD, a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and Distinguished Chair for Medical Informatics