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  • 05.9.17

    AMIC Admonishes MedPAC for Ignoring AUC in Reducing Low-Value Care

    Washington, D.C. – The Access to Medical Imaging Coalition (AMIC) today sent a letter to MedPAC on the heels of their March report and April session on low-value care to request MedPAC fully endorse the implementation of Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) to reduce low-value care.

    “AMIC believes full and expedient implementation of the statutory AUC requirements will help to limit low-value care and urges MedPAC to make this recommendation to Secretary Price and to Congress,” said Tim Trysla, executive director of AMIC. “Diagnostic imaging services that are capable of detecting disease earlier deliver value by saving lives and preserving quality of life, while also preventing higher health care costs over the long term. Early and accurate diagnosis is critical to containing cost growth, by reducing avoidable hospitalizations and complications, and allowing for less costly and invasive therapeutic interventions for time-sensitive diagnoses such as cancer and heart disease.”

    In 2014, Congress established a program to consult AUC guidelines before ordering advanced imaging services for Medicare patients. By providing physicians with clinical decision support tools that tap into evolving scientific and clinical evidence, Medicare will be able to ensure that beneficiaries are receiving the most appropriate scan for their clinical circumstances and therefore eliminating inappropriate or unnecessary care. AUC can reassure patients, providers, and payers that the test ordered was based on the best available evidence, weighing the risk of harm and potential benefit to the patient.

    In its letter, AMIC also encouraged MedPAC to consider recent trends in imaging pointing to MedPAC’s March 2017 Report to the Congress, which showed that beginning in 2009 imaging was the only service category that experienced a consistent decrease in volume of services per beneficiary. AMIC highlighted an April 2017 Heath Affairs article which demonstrated that the trend in imaging growth has ended and volume of imaging services has stabilized. According to the article’s authors the “use of imaging has stabilized and may be headed downward. The proverbial ‘curve’ appears to have been bent.”

    AMIC’s members include more than 35,000 physicians, patient organizations, and medical imaging equipment manufacturers who have long stressed the importance of identifying policies that safeguard patient access to appropriate medical imaging services, said they look forward to continue working with policymakers to realize the goals of efficient, clinically-targeted ordering of diagnostic 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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