HOUSE BILL PROPOSES MORATORIUM ON PAYMENT CUTS FOR MEDICARE DIAGNOSTIC SERVICES
A House bill would place a two-year moratorium on Medicare payment cuts for diagnostic imaging that were included in the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) passed by Congress in February.
"These cuts, if enacted, will lead to reimbursement reductions of upwards of 30 to 50 percent for imaging services," said Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), who introduced the Access to Medicare Imaging Act (H.R. 5704) June 28.
Specifically, some in-office imaging services would be reimbursed at the lesser of the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System or the Medicare fee schedule by January 2007, according to the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR). "The Congressional Budget Office estimated these cuts at $2.6 billion over five years," the SIR noted.
The bill also calls for a Government Accountability Office analysis of the impact of the DRA's payment methodology on patient access.
The bill can be read at www.sirweb.org/congAff/HR_5704_Final_Version.pdf (http://www.sirweb.org/congAff/HR_5704_Final_Version.pdf).