ASNC Convenes 16 National Societies in Request to Delay AUC Program

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ASNC and national specialty societies unite to push back on the January 1, 2017 deadline requiring clinicians who order advanced cardiovascular imaging tests to consult appropriate use criteria.

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This week, the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) led and was joined by 16 national organizations in sending a letter to leaders of the Senate Finance Committee and House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees urging them to delay the Medicare Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) Program. In the letter, the organizations conveyed that the current proposed timeline for implementing the Medicare AUC Program for advanced diagnostic imaging tests will not afford physicians adequate time to integrate the program’s requirements into their clinical workflow without disruption.

ASNC thanks all the societies that joined as signatories. It's important that all medical specialties work together to benefit patient care. It's critical that the right infrastructure is in place to support this important program, so that patient access is not compromised.

The appropriate use mandate requires clinicians who order advanced imaging tests to consult AUC using a qualified clinical decision support (CDS) mechanism before payment will be made to the clinician who performs and bills for the test. For cardiovascular imagers that includes, nuclear cardiology, cardiac CT, and cardiac MRI. ASNC strongly supports the use of AUC but the deadlines for implementation set by Congress are proving challenging for CMS. Under current law, the AUC Program requirements will take effect January 1, 2017.

ASNC, as well as the other organizations that signed the letter, do not believe that the timelines proposed by CMS in the 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule will provide adequate time for practices to comply with the program’s requirements, which will not be finalized until November 2016 — less than two months prior to the Program’s effective date.

On September 17, ASNC members convened for a day on Capitol Hill in conjunction with the ASNC Annual Meeting during which 50 congressional meetings were held, including with the committees that hold jurisdiction over Medicare. During these meetings, ASNC shared their concerns with the statutory deadlines.

About ASNC
The American Society of Nuclear Cardiology is the recognized leader in education, advocacy and quality in cardiovascular imaging, with nearly 4,000 members worldwide. ASNC's mission is to improve cardiovascular care though image-guided patient management. ASNC promotes accreditation and certification in nuclear cardiology, and is the world leader in the development and dissemination of nuclear cardiology continuing education, practice standards and clinical practice guidelines, including appropriate use criteria.

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Angela Guerrieri
ASNC
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