If you’ve ever been on an email mailing list for the ACR, then you’ve probably received a few of these in the last few months… emails imploring you to contact your Senators and Representatives to urge them to support the Diagnostic Imaging Services Access Protection Act (HR 3269). So far I’ve received three or four of them, and for the ones I’d received previously, I replied, agreeing to contact my elected officials on their behalf, but on one condition…
Here we sit, on the cusp of mandatory accreditation for ‘Advanced Imaging’ modalities at outpatient providers (these are CT, MRI and PET), and a series of articles on medical radiation exposure splashes across the New York Times.
In nearly concurrent moves, the Joint Commission (JC) unveils their just-developed Advanced Imaging (AI) accreditation program, the FDA is clamoring for new authority to regulate medical device safety (or gearing-up to use authority that it’s been hiding for safe-keeping, that isn’t exactly clear to me), the US Congress whips together a set of hearings on the issue, and, at those hearings, the American College of Radiology (ACR) recommends that the Feds expand the scope of the AI accreditation requirement to include radiation therapy and to apply the expanded accreditation requirements to hospitals, too.
Whew, that’s a lot of ground covered for radiology in just the last few weeks! Wait a minute… who is that sitting in the backseat? Who has been drug through all of the hullabaloo about radiation exposure and patient safety without once having been considered, individually? MRI, that’s who.
OK, our yearlong economic near-catastrophe has had far-reaching effects and is a ready-made excuse for all sorts of evils in the world.
wife: “Honey, why didn’t you vacuum the living room like I asked?”
husband: “Well, in this time of economic uncertainty, I felt that it would be unwise to both use more electricity for something as superfluous as vacuuming, as well as hasten the demise of our vacuum by using it before it was absolutely necessary…”
But, in fact, economic conditions do have the outward appearances of being a contributing factor in increasing rates of MRI accidents. Click Here To Read How…
In a word, ‘Yes,’ but not by the conventional ways that imaging providers are accustomed to...
Would using ferromagnetic detection (FMD), to add a new and effective layer of pre-MRI screening, be reimbursed? What I mean is, is there a CPT code to get paid back for providing this additional service?
No, but the lack of a CPT code has little to do with the fact that using FMD can contribute, directly, to an MRI provider’s bottom-line. In fact, there are two concrete ways, off of the top of my head, that I know have provided financial ‘payback’ to users of ferromagnetic detection systems.