News | Digital Radiography (DR) | May 02, 2016

Agfa Responds to New Medicare Reimbursement Reductions with DR Upgrade Program

Fast Forward DR program offers quick transition from film/CR in the face of new penalties beginning in 2017

Agfa, Fast Forward DR upgrade program, Consolidated Appropriations Act, Medicare reimbursement reductions

May 2, 2016 — In light of the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Agfa HealthCare is using its Fast Forward to DR Program to help health systems using film and computed radiography (CR) to cost-effectively upgrade their facilities to digital radiography (DR) technology.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act is a comprehensive government spending guideline for many areas. Title V of this law addresses Medicare spending, and Section 502 addresses Medicare reimbursement for outpatient radiographs specifically — with an aggressive reduction in payment schedule for film and CR exams.  This new legislation is clearly designed to incentivize the transition from traditional X-ray imaging to more efficient DR systems.

The new law reduces Medicare reimbursements for the technical component of X-rays taken using screen film beginning in 2017 by 20 percent, and reduces the reimbursement for the technical component of CR exams by 7 percent for 2018 through 2022. Starting in 2023, the technical component reimbursement reduction of CR exams will increase to 10 percent. 

Agfa's flexible Fast Forward to DR Program is designed to yield higher quality images at the lowest dose reasonably achievable, increased productivity and a smoother, more efficient workflow. The company gives hospitals stage-by-stage guidance to transition to the benefits of DR even in the absence of immediate capital. Healthcare providers can sustain their existing financial model while upgrading to DR with a cost-effective and customizable payment structure. In addition, because all Agfa HealthCare DR systems are equipped with the same user interface, staff training and adoption time to utilize DR are reduced. 

Central to the Fast Forward to DR Program is Agfa HealthCare's DR Retrofit. The DR Retrofit provides healthcare facilities using either analog film or CR an efficient upgrade to the benefits of DR, without replacing existing X-ray equipment. By maximizing the use of existing equipment while simplifying installation, DR Retrofit provides an easy and affordable way to implement sophisticated direct digital image capture in the X-ray room that can be securely shared and accessed within the electronic health record (EHR). This vendor-neutral upgrade solution provides DR workflow and image quality for a fraction of the price of a complete system and flexibly supports many applications throughout multiple hospital departments.

For more information: www.agfahealthcare.com

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