News | May 14, 2015

ACR Select Portal Helps Minnesota Providers Improve Imaging Care, Reduce Costs

Portal allows full access to ACR Appropriateness Criteria for clinical decision support

May 14, 2015 — Minnesota healthcare providers can now access a free online tool to help ensure patients get the right imaging exam for their condition, reduce unwarranted scans and lower costs.

The ACR Select portal is offered by the Minnesota Radiological Society and the National Decision Support Company (NDSC). Its use meets state insurer preauthorization requirements without delaying care. Those with a valid national provider identifier (NPI) can register for access at         

 “We deliver tools to help providers ensure that their patients receive the best, most appropriate care,” said Kevin Smith, M.D., Minnesota Radiological Society president. “Radiologists focus on delivering value to the providers we work with. ACR Select delivers this value and shows the benefits of clinical decision support versus an onerous prior authorization process.”

“Many health systems in the state have integrated ACR Select into their electronic health record (EHR). This offers providers native access to CDS at the point of order. Free access to the ACR Select portal ensures that every provider ordering high-tech imaging can participate in the prior authorization exemption and access national Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) to determine the best test for the patient’s condition,” said NDSC chief executive officer Michael Mardini.

Minnesota pioneered use of clinical decision support as a cost-effective, provider- and patient-friendly prior authorization alternative through the work of the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI). An ICSI study started in 2006 showed that clinical decision support (CDS) use in imaging ordering reduced the annual imaging growth rate from 7 percent to 1 percent — saving the state an estimated $234 million. Many payers now accept CDS use in lieu of radiology benefits managers.

The ACR Select portal enables full interactive access to the ACR Appropriateness Criteria and allows Minnesota providers to generate and share a unique Decision Support Number (DSN). This verifies their consultation and enables collaboration between the radiologist and ordering provider.

“We fully expect to expand this model into other states, especially in light of the Protecting Access of Medicare Act of 2014 requirement to use CDS for advanced imaging claims paid by Medicare starting in 2017,” said Mardini.

For more information:

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