MITA blasts 'devastating' fiscal cliff package imaging cuts

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The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance has blasted the fiscal cliff package passed by Congress last week for including "devastating" Medicare cuts for imaging and radiation therapy services.

As reported by Health Imaging and FiercePracticeManagement, the legislation includes $800 million in Medicare cuts to advanced medical imaging services. In addition, according to MITA, it also includes $300 million in reductions to hospital reimbursements for radiation therapy services over a 10-year period.

MITA charges that these cuts, the $1 billion in cuts already put in place earlier in 2012, and the 2.3 percent medical device tax "will harm America's global leadership in the development of innovative medical imaging technologies" and will result in the loss of medical technology jobs.

"When you add up all the Medicare cuts and Congress' reluctance to address the $30 billion medical device tax, this legislation produces a devastating impact that harms patient access to care, moves manufacturing jobs overseas and threatens America's leadership in medical research and development," MITA executive director Gail Rodriguez said in an announcement.

Rodriguez added that Congress should reverse the Medicare cuts, arguing that research has shown that imaging use per beneficiary is on the decline and that Congress is making these cuts without fully understanding  how the cuts "negatively impact their constituents' ability to receive imaging and radiation therapy that saves lives."

There are a number of members of Congress who sympathize with MITA's arguments. As we reported last week, a group of 17 representatives led by Pennsylvania Republican Jim Gerlach sent a letter to House leadership in December warning about the negative impact reimbursement cuts could have on imaging device manufacturing and access to imaging services.

For more:
- see the announcement from MITA
- read the article in Health Imaging

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