The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Health Care Reform: Party’s Over for Medical Imaging

mri-kneeWell…it could be worse, but one could argue it’s the beginning of a slow decline for the medical imaging market in the U.S.  On Tuesday, Senator Baucus (D-Montana) and Senator Grassley (R-Iowa), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, released a description of policy options for healthcare reform

The options included “Transparency and Evidence-Based Decision-Making for Imaging Services,” proposing a system that sets “national appropriateness criteria” for imaging procedures (see page 7).  Good so far. The system also includes standarized reporting to monitor rates of adherence to appropriateness criteria.  Uggh, but fine. Then, in 2013,  the Secretary would designate the imaging procedures for which reporting and differential payment will be mandatory and imaging procedures for which reporting will be voluntary based on baseline rates and amount of progress toward goals. This creates a system whereby access to specific imaging services and reimbursement can be further curtailed, and it will. Soon, we might see the term “medically necessary” thrown around in the U.S., a term many Canadians waiting months for an MRI have learned to hate.

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