Medicare and LDCT lung cancer screening--evidence mounts for coverage

Last December, when the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended low-dose CT (LDCT) lung cancer screening for high-risk smokers, it was all but a foregone conclusion that the Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) would follow suit and recommend it to be covered by Medicare. Of course, that narrative took a different turn this past April when MEDCAC voted not to recommend LDCT screening, much to the dismay of lung cancer screening advocates.

But now, two recent studies seem have supplied evidence that supports lung cancer screening for Medicare patients.

Outpatient imaging-center market sees continued consolidation

The freestanding outpatient imaging market--marked by continuing cuts to the Medicare Physician Fee Service Technical components, narrow-provider networks, preauthorization demands and sophisticated IT requirements--remains a market susceptible to consolidation, according to Radiology Business Journal's annual report on the "20 Largest Freestanding Outpatient Imaging-center Chains."

Stanford researchers implement new tech to boost MRI experience for kids

Shreyas Vasanawala, an associate professor of radiology at Stanford University, and a team of collaborators are looking to break down barriers that prevent children from getting MRIs with research support from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

How energy reduction cuts costs for radiologists

Taking simple steps to reduce energy use can not only reduce the amount of energy a radiology department or practice consumes, but can result in significant cost savings, according to a study in the journal Academic Radiology.

Lawsuit seeks reversal of CMS amyloid reimbursement policy

A lawsuit has been filed in federal court against the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in an effort to get it to change its policy regarding Medicare reimbursement for the use of PET beta-amyloid scans to detect Alzheimer's disease.

More evidence supports Medicare coverage of LDCT screening

A secondary analysis of the National Lung Screening Trial has found that low-dose lung cancer screening is actually more effective for older high-risk patients than it is for younger ones, according to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Iodine-based contrast CT exams safe for most patients

Iodine-based contrast material injected intravenously to enhance CT images is safe for most patients, according to a study published online in the journal Radiology.

CDS increasingly important in struggle to manage imaging utilization

The use of computerized physician order entry software supplemented by real-time clinical decision support is becoming an increasingly important tool in efforts to manage imaging utilization.

Why CMS should reimburse for secondary imaging interpretations

The comment period for the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule ended last week and radiology and imaging-related organizations expressed their concerns about a number of issues, such as the potential for significant reimbursement reductions in radiation oncology services. One area of particular interest to these organizations has to do with the payment for the secondary interpretation of images.

Rad organizations express concerns over proposed Physician Fee Schedule

The American College of Radiology and other imaging- and radiology-related organizations have submitted comments expressing a number of concerns about the proposed 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

Proton therapy less costly than x-ray for advanced cancer treatments

The use of intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT) to treat advanced stage head and neck cancer is less costly than IMRT (or x-ray therapy) according to a proof of concept study in Oncology Payers.

Unnecessary imaging costs U.S. up to $12 billion annually

A survey of hospital executives has determined that the U.S. healthcare system spends at least $7.47 billion, and as much as $11.95 billion on unnecessary imaging every year.

'Personal touch' boosts breast cancer screening rates

Personal touch from clinicians in the form of reminder postcards and physician-signed letters can improve breast cancer screening rates, according to a Canadian study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Breast Cancer Symposium in San Francisco this past weekend.

Study: Low Dose CT lung cancer screening saves lives, cuts costs

Low-dose CT lung cancer screening is cost-effective and saves lives, according to a new study in American Health and Drug Benefits.

Emergency CT angiography can slash unnecessary hospitalizations

The use of CT angiography to diagnose emergency department patients presenting with chest pain can reduce unnecessary hospitalizations, according to a study published in the September issue of Radiology.

Virtual colonoscopy coverage: Time to end the short shrift

 If Cologuard can win approval and gain traction on the path to reimbursement, why not virtual colonoscopy (CT colonograpy)?

Swiss docs: Not enough evidence to abolish mammo programs

A pair of Swiss physicians argue that while the Swiss Medical Board has recommended a move away from systematic mammography screening, there still isn't enough evidence to abolish screening programs.

Radiology job hunting requires adaptability

The radiology job market, as has been the case in the last several years, continues to be flat, which means that radiologists looking for work should be adaptable, according to Edward Bluth, M.D., head of the American College of Radiologists Human Resources Commission, and colleagues.

Docs may be performing too many colonoscopies after polyp removal

Doctors may be performing too many surveillance colonoscopies on patients who have had pre-cancerous polyps removed during an earlier colon cancer screening procedures, according to a study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine.

ACR to CMS: Cover virtual colonoscopy

A proposed decision by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to cover a stool DNA colorectal cancer screening test has prompted the American College of Radiology (ACR) to ask it to cover CT colonography (or virtual colonoscopy), as well.