The extremely small (<3 mm) brain lesions frequently identified on MRI brain scans are often considered as a benign part of “normal aging.” However, recent evidence suggests that, when present, they more than triple the risk for stroke and stroke-related death in asymptomatic middle-aged and older adults. In addition, larger lesions (3 mm or greater) increase the risk for stroke eightfold; patients with both size lesions raises the stroke risk almost ninefold.
CMS has released the 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS). This major, proposed rule will revise payment polices under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and make other policy changes related to Medicare Part B payment. The 815 page key payment legislation is part of a broad effort to move Medicare toward value-based, quality care and is the first proposed update to the physician payment schedule since the repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate through the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2105 (MACRA). The rule, called CY 2016 Physician Fee Schedule, is expected to be published as a final rule this fall. The public has 60 days from the July 8, 2015 release of this rule to comment. The American College of Radiology said that it will continue discussions with CMS on behalf of radiologists and participating facilities.
Here are highlights of the proposed rule that will affect radiologists and entities who provide medical diagnostic imaging. Among the ramifications for providers of radiology services are:
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to help bring to market over 20 health accreditation programs through three different organizations. Since 2010, I also have had the privilege of working with RadSite to help develop the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers (MIPPA) Accreditation Program (MAP), which was recognized by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2013.
Although most of my previous work focused on developing standards for managed care and medical managements systems, overseeing the development of the RadSite MIPPA Standards perhaps was the most rewarding.
In an effort to maintain the standard of care established by the American College of Radiology (ACR), the Joint Commission and others, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires you to ensure that your CT scans meet all four attributes of the MITA Smart Dose CT as set by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) XR 29-2013.
What is NEMA XR-29-2013?
The NEMA Standard XR-29, also known as the MITA Smart Dose Standard, includes DICOM-compliant radiation dose structured reporting, dose check features, automatic exposure control and reference adult and pediatric protocols.
Most of us in the United States expect prompt service when we seek medical care (except, perhaps, at the emergency room). For example, if we need to see a doctor or have lab work or diagnostic tests done, we can usually get an appointment within a reasonable time period.
This, however, is not the same standard of care for veterans who utilize their specialty medical services through the VA. Recently, news broke that many U.S. veterans have been waiting months—even years—for medical care at the Phoenix VA.