The $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill passed by Congress in mid-December included several provisions that could significantly impact diagnostic radiology services.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (PDF, 3 MB), which passed Congress on Dec. 18, included changes affecting Medicare and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Section 502 of the bill, which begins on page 1950, includes elements designed to incentivize the transition from traditional X-ray imaging to digital radiography.
Provisions include a 20% reduction starting in 2017 in the technical component reimbursement associated with an X-ray taken using film. In addition, technical component reimbursement for imaging services that rely on computed radiography (CR) technology will be incrementally reduced by 7% each year between 2018 and 2022. Starting in 2023, the payment amount of the technical component of CR will be reduced by another 10%.
The legislation further sets the Multiple Procedure Payment Reduction (MPPR) at 5% for the professional component of imaging services furnished on or after Jan. 1, 2017. This reduction replaces the 25% MPPR that had been specified in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid final rule published on Nov. 28, 2011.