News | July 29, 2008

ACR Assumes Imaging Accrediting Role in the Medicare System

July 30, 2008 - The American College of Radiology (ACR) announced today it will complete the process to become a deemed accrediting body for the Medicare program and work with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide the accreditation services that the new law requires.

The newly passed law, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (H.R. 6331), which averted a massive cut in Medicare physician payments, requires that medical imaging providers be accredited by Jan. 1, 2012, in order to receive reimbursement from Medicare for MRI, CT, PET and Nuclear Medicine procedures.

In addition to mammography and radiation oncology, the ACR currently has programs to accredit MRI, CT, nuclear medicine, PET, ultrasound, stereotactic breast biopsy and breast ultrasound. ACR accreditation requires that the physicians supervising and interpreting medical imaging meet stringent education and training standards. ACR accreditation also requires that the imaging equipment is surveyed regularly by qualified medical physicists, in order to ensure that it is functioning properly, and that the technologists administering the tests are appropriately certified.

ACR accreditation is an efficient process of both self-assessment and independent external audit, based on the ACR guidelines and technical standards, which assesses the qualifications of personnel, policies and procedures, equipment specifications, QA activities, patient safety, and ultimately the quality of patient care.

The purpose of these programs is to set quality standards for practices and help them continuously improve the quality of care they provide to their patients. ACR staff meets regularly with members of Congress, congressional staff, and CMS officials. The College will continue to keep members and other stakeholders informed of any developments as the Medicare accreditation process moves forward.

For more information: www.acr.org

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