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Physician Imaging Payments Hold Their Own In CMS’ 2008 Proposal

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Diagnostic imaging manufacturers breathed easier July 2 as CMS released its physician fee schedule 1proposal for 2008 with no major new policies to reduce imaging payments

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Two final 2008 payment rules from CMS

Rules effective Jan. 1 for payment of hospital outpatient and physician services are released Nov. 1. In the outpatient 1rule, CMS moves ahead with a controversial "packaging" policy for seven new categories of services, making only minor modifications to its July proposal. The policy, the scope of which includes intra-operative services, image guidance, and diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals, is intended to combat rising outpatient costs and encourage hospitals to more prudently negotiate with manufacturers (2"The Gray Sheet" Sept. 24, 2007, p. 22). The 2008 physician fee 3schedule resembles the agency's July proposal, with no new big cuts for imaging (4"The Gray Sheet" July 9, 2007, p. 11)

Two final 2008 payment rules from CMS

Rules effective Jan. 1 for payment of hospital outpatient and physician services are released Nov. 1. In the outpatient 1rule, CMS moves ahead with a controversial "packaging" policy for seven new categories of services, making only minor modifications to its July proposal. The policy, the scope of which includes intra-operative services, image guidance, and diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals, is intended to combat rising outpatient costs and encourage hospitals to more prudently negotiate with manufacturers (2"The Gray Sheet" Sept. 24, 2007, p. 22). The 2008 physician fee 3schedule resembles the agency's July proposal, with no new big cuts for imaging (4"The Gray Sheet" July 9, 2007, p. 11)

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A rapidly moving Medicare bill puts imaging payments back in the crosshairs as the House looks for cost-saving measures to fund coverage of uninsured children and prevent massive cuts to physician payments

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