News | January 01, 2007

DRA Cuts Take Effect

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 became effective on January 1, 2007 and will impose significant Medicare reimbursement cuts for MRI, CT, PET, bone densitometry, nuclear medicine and ultrasound on outpatient imaging centers.

Efforts by professional organizations, clinicians and industry leaders in 2006 to delay the DRA proved unsuccessful as the Senate and the House of Representatives failed to pass the Access to Medicare Imaging Act (HR 5704, S3795), an act that would have delayed these cuts for two years while the Government Accountability Office (GAO) analyzed the effects of the DRA on patient access to healthcare.

The issue will be revisited once the 110th Congress convenes in January 2007.

Some of the cuts include the following, as listed on the Access to Medical Imaging Coalition (AMIC) website (www.imagingaccess.org/news/table.cfm): for MRI of the jaw a Pre-DRA rate of $447.95 cut to $303.49 for a 32 percent reduction, for CT of the neck rates slide from $236.48 to $188.10 (20 percent), for bone densitometry studies for osteoporosis rates plunge from $123.92 to $72.70 (40 percent), for MR angiography for aneurysms rates are cut from $873.92 to $506.26 (42 percent), for head CT of the pelvis a drop from $236.48 to $188.10 (20 percent), for ultrasound scan for hemodialysis there will be a 20 percent reduction from $156.90 to $94.52, and for PET for tumor imaging reimbursements are slashed from $2,889.50 to $1,471.11, accounting for a 49 percent decrease.

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