By Ed Yoder, MBA, MHA, RT(R), CRA, FAHRA
While you were sleeping around midnight on March 25, were you aware of what your House committee members were up to? Well, I can tell you, “they are up to no good!” They are entering the imaging world and focusing their attention on CT. Shortly before midnight a 12-month patch to the SGR was posted to the House website. The bill then went on to be passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Obama. You can check out the entire bill by clicking here.
Summarizing part of the bill briefly, imaging departments will have specific dose requirements they will have to follow in order to bill for CT exams. Going forward, we will have to be able to prove dose software was present and used during the exam, and if we do not we will face reimbursement reductions starting at 5% in 2016 and escalating to 15% by 2017. If you want more particular details, read the legislation in the above link – you will find the CT issue under Section 218. Essentially, they are targeting the older CT machines that cannot use dose monitoring and reducing software. There will be a lot of debate on this, but even in these early stages, AHRA is keeping a pulse on the situation. For a rundown of all the key initiatives in this legislation that will affect you, check out Melody Mulaik’s Link article from earlier this week.
Behind the scenes we have been working hard at establishing an advocacy committee to keep an eye on the world of imaging and the regulatory issues that affect it. They are particularly focused on the government’s actions, comments, and behaviors towards the imaging world. The committee is also working hard to establish crucial relationships with some of our imaging association partners, such as RBMA, HFMA, and the ACR. This is a very big step because with these associations banding together it adds considerable weight to the voices that support what we do in the imaging world – we are stronger and larger together than we are separated.
A few housekeeping notes: the AHRA Board of Directors will be meeting April 5 in Atlanta to continue work on the strategic plan, review finances and operations, and keep a pulse on our various committees. Also, the Spring Conference is in San Antonio, April 22-24. It’s going to be an exciting conference, with very timely and relevant session topics such as “The New Joint Commission Imaging Requirements – How to Ensure That Your Facility is Ready.” Don’t miss these three days on the Riverwalk with us!
Finally, on the musical side, March 25 marked the 40th anniversary of the release of the album “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John. Growing up I was a huge fan of piano-based rock’n’roll, and Elton John and Billy Joel were two of my favorites! This album is one of my all-time favorites, and I never tire of listening to it. My band, back in the 80’s, always opened with “Funeral for a Friend.” My favorite songs on the album? “All The Young Girls Love Alice” and “I’ve Seen That Movie Too.” Check them out, turn it up and rock on! And now that it’s April, you know what that means in the MLB world: “Play Ball!”
(Also be sure to check out Member Appreciation, where every month we celebrate new members and highlight significant anniversaries.)
Ed Yoder, MBA, MHA, RT(R), CRA, FAHRA is president of the 2013-2014 AHRA Board of Directors. He is the director of imaging services at Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia, SC and can be reached at email@example.com.