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New CMS Fee Schedule To Cut Radiology Payments

Jul 12, 2012

The proposed new 2013 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services significantly reduces payments for both the technical component and professional component of radiologic exams and procedures.

According to the new MPFS, radiation therapy centers would see the biggest reduction at 19 percent. Payments would be reduced to radiologists by 4 percent and radiation oncologists by 15 percent. In addition, interventional radiology and nuclear medicine could see cuts of 3 percent and diagnostic testing facilities 8 percent.

However, according to the proposed fee schedule, CMS plans to increase reimbursements to family physicians by 7 percent and increase payments to other primary care practitioners by 3 to 5 percent. In addition, several other health care specialties would receive payment increases.

“To preserve patients’ access to medical imaging and radiation therapy services, it’s important to maintain appropriate levels of reimbursement in order for facilities to have the adequate number of personnel to safely and accurately perform the exams and administer the treatments,” said ASRT President Donna Thaler Long, M.S.M., R.T.(R)(M)(QM), FASRT. “As a result, the ASRT opposes the proposed cuts to medical imaging and radiation therapy services.”

The new fee schedule is open for public comment until July 30, 2012.  

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