MEDICAL IMAGING: GAO’s recommendation for medical imaging sparks debate

The release of a report on medical imaging services by the Government Accountability Office (bioopticsworld.com/display_article/335196) has garnered response from supporters and dissenters. The report was issued following an investigation that found Medicare spending for high-tech imaging services had more than doubled between 2000 and 2006. And it recommends that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) contain future costs by requiring authorization for heretofore routine imaging services.

The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance responded, saying that the report gives Congress an incomplete and inaccurate overview of the situation. It “failed to use the most recent data, reference medical guidelines or look at trends in which providers and payers are adopting appropriateness and accreditation criteria,” said Andrew Whitman, alliance vice president. He said more current and accurate data, available through Avalere Health (www.avalerehealth.net/wm/show.php?c=1&id=786), demonstrates that growth of such services has slowed in recent years.

On the other side of the fence, MedSolutions, applauded the move. The company is a provider of radiology benefit management (RBM) services for national and regional health plans as well as federal and state government agencies. –BG

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