September 20, 2011
President Barack Obama’s proposal to cut $3 trillion from the deficit includes changes to Medicare reimbursements for advanced imaging services, which could save the government $1.3 billion over the next 10 years. This proposal also requires mandatory prior authorization for advanced imaging services by 2013.
This deficit plan requires a combination of tax increases on the wealthy and corporations as well as cuts to entitlement spending including other programs in order to pay off the country’s debt while also supporting a bill designed to create jobs.
Beginning in 2013, under the recommendation of MedPAC, the proposal calls for increasing the utilization rate for advanced imaging (likely MRI, CT and nuclear medicine), to reflect the "higher levels of utilization of certain types of equipment.” Also in 2013, the proposal calls for doctors to get prior approval before ordering expensive imaging studies because of concerns over "unwarranted use." This plan, which it says was inspired by Government Accountability Office recommendations, would save $900 million over the next 10 years.
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