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DRA imaging bill is back

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Legislation to put a stop to the imaging cuts that went into effect Jan. 1 under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 is introduced in the House Feb. 28. The bill, sponsored by Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., Joseph Pitts, R-Pa., Gene Green, D-Texas, and 20 cosponsors, is similar to last year's "Access to Medicare Imaging Act" that garnered 142 cosponsors before the year ended. The measure calls for a two-year freeze on the cuts, which cap the technical component of imaging payments to physicians at outpatient payment levels, and a report on the cuts' potential effects on patient access from the Government Accountability Office. The new legislation, backed by the Access to Medical Imaging Coalition, also changes the statutory definition of imaging services affected by the DRA to include only magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, positron emission tomography and nuclear cardiology procedures. CMS indicated last year that a legislative change would be necessary to remove certain other procedures from the affected services, as stakeholders had asked (1"The Gray Sheet" Nov. 6, 2006, p. 3)...
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