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  • 04.5.12

    Access to Medical Imaging Coalition Applauds American Board of Internal Medicine’s Choosing Wisely Campaign

    Demonstrates that Physician-Developed Appropriateness Criteria, Not Dangerous Cuts, Are Path to Right Scan at Right Time

    Washington, D.C. – The Access to Medical Imaging Coalition (AMIC) today commended the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) Choosing Wisely campaign. ABIM spearheads a combined physician and consumer group effort to reduce unnecessary procedures and help ensure that testing is evidence-supported. The campaign includes contributions from the American College of Radiology, the American College of Cardiology and other organizations whose members rely on medical imaging.

    AMIC fully supports the adoption of physician-developed appropriateness criteria and the use of clinical decision support tools, which are approaches that have proven effective in ensuring that patients receive the right scan at the right time.  AMIC is a foundational champion of employing appropriateness criteria in caring for Medicare beneficiaries. Appropriateness criteria is now a pilot project at multiple sites through the Medicare program.

    Choosing Wisely demonstrates broad consensus in the care provider community that appropriateness criteria are an effective tool to ensure high-quality patient care,” said Tim Trysla, Executive Director of AMIC.  “Appropriateness criteria will keep clinical decisions where they should be, between care providers and patients, helping to ensure that all patients maintain access to imaging services.”

    Recent data, validated by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), demonstrate that imaging utilization and spending have declined.  According to MedPAC, the per-beneficiary use of imaging services declined by 2.5 percent in 2010.  This finding affirms a Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) analysis showing that per-beneficiary spending on imaging has dropped 13.2 percent since 2006, when imaging-specific reimbursement cuts in the Deficit Reduction Act began to be implemented, and imaging utilization per beneficiary declined by 3 percent in 2010.

    “Despite government-validated data showing declining imaging use, some still wrongly believe applying the blunt instrument of reimbursement cuts and placing radiology benefit managers between a patient and his or her provider are the ways to address inappropriate imaging.  These approaches only reduce patient access to early diagnosis, which down the line increases patients’ overall medical costs,” said Trysla.  “The scalpel-like methodology of appropriateness criteria promises to drive appropriate imaging use while maintaining the benefits of patient access to life-saving medical imaging services.”

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    The Access to Medical Imaging Coalition represents physicians, medical providers, and patient organizations throughout the U.S. It also includes health technology firms that manufacture imaging equipment and supplies and that employ tens of thousands of workers. Thus, AMIC represents those who develop medical imaging technologies, those who apply it, and those who benefit from it.

     

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