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CMS Holds to Screening/Diagnostic NCCI Edits

Friday, March 20, 2015
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has rejected the American College of Radiology’s request to delete the newly implemented NCCI edits for screening and diagnostic mammography performed on the same patient on the same date of service. Please refer to the 3/20/15 Advocacy in Action eNews piece for coding guidance when both screening and diagnostic mammography is performed, and a copy of the CMS letter advising how these procedures should be reported. 

ACR Supports Legislation Seeking To Boost Transparency At USPSTF

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
HealthImaging (3/18) reports that “the American College of Radiology (ACR) has thrown its support behind legislation that seeks to boost transparency in the work of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).” The legislation “would also change the grading and recommendation process in light of the fact that USPSTF grades have such a substantial impact on coverage policies.” In a statement, the ACR said, “USPSTF recommendations were initially intended to provide supplementary guidance to primary care physicians, but they are now used to influence national screening program guidelines, federal and private sector coverage policies, and direct-to-consumer screening recommendations.” 

Evolution Of Breast Imaging Has Made Mammography Technologists More Than Just “Button Pushers”

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Aunt Minnie (3/17, Yee) reports that a presentation given yesterday at the National Consortium of Breast Centers meeting suggests that “the evolution of breast imaging has made mammography technologists much more than just ‘button pushers,’ with their role evolving to include not only more patient interaction but also more education and training.” For that reason, “mammographic technologists need to step up their game, said presenter Terry Bucknall, director of women’s imaging services at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center in Valencia, CA.” Bucknall’s presentation provided five ways how mammography technologists can “thrive in this new environment.” 

Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) introduced the USPSTF Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015 (H.R. 1151)

Friday, March 13, 2015
This bi-partisan legislation proposes greater transparency and new opportunities for public input into the work of the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). 

Wide Variation Exists In Technical Execution Of Scans And Compression Forces Used During Mammography

Friday, March 6, 2015
HealthImaging (3/6, Godt) reports that “breast compression, while uncomfortable for some women, is a necessary component of mammography.” Research published in the European Journal of Radiology “has shown that, because of a lack of consistent guidelines, a wide variation exists in the technical execution of scans and the compression forces used.” The investigators “suggested standardization that measures pressure rather than force could improve patient care.” 
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