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MITA: New Data on Decline in CT Procedures Should Suppress Further Medicare Cuts

Jan. 21, 2014

A new report showing back-to-back, 5.5 percent declines in CT utilization over the past three years should dissuade policymakers from additional cuts in Medicare reimbursement, the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance says.

MITA cites a January report by IMV Medical Information, which found the volume of CT procedures in the U.S. topped out in 2011 at 85.3 million studies, dropping to 80.6 million in 2012 and 76 million in 2013. The report is based on a September survey of 424 U.S. imaging centers.

“This report adds to the already substantial body of evidence indicating a sustained slowdown in utilization of advanced imaging technologies in the United States,” said Gail Rodriguez, executive director of MITA. “Further across-the-board reimbursement cuts to medical imaging services at a time when utilization is clearly on the decline would only contribute to the many access barriers that millions of patients in need of care currently face.”

Rather than limit access by further reimbursement cuts, MITA recommends best practices training at imaging facilities and the use of physician-developed appropriateness criteria.

The IMV report findings are similar to those of a March 2012 Medicare Payment Advisory Commission report to Congress and a MITA-commissioned analysis from September 2012, the trade group says. — Meg Bryant

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