Be compliant by January 1, 2016, or pay.
The deadline is fast approaching for practices to meet standards set by XR 29 or MITA Smart Dose. The legislation was signed into law as part of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014. Beginning in 2016, CMS will pay less for certain diagnostic CT scans performed on noncompliant equipment.
According to MITA, the MITA Smart Dose CT standards include:
• DICOM Dose Structured Reporting: Enables recording of post-exam dose information in a specialized electronic format. Information can be included in the patient’s record and used to promote the establishment of diagnostic reference levels, as well as facility dose management and quality assurance.
• Pediatric and Adult Reference Protocols: Set of pre-loaded protocols on a CT system that serve as a baseline for a variety of clinical tasks.
• CT Does Check: Incorporates dose notifications and dose alerts that can alert operatiros and physicians when dose exceeds established thresholds.
• Automatic Exposure Control (AEC): Automatically adjusts the amount of radiation used, based on the size, shape, and composition of the patient in order to achieve a specific level of image quality.
Exams performed with noncompliant equipment after January 1, 2016 will take a 5% reimbursement hit, exams performed on noncompliant equipment in 2017 and beyond will receive a 15% payment penalty.
In this slideshow, top CT vendors offer tips on how to prepare for the new guidelines in the few short months left.
Quoted in the slideshow are:
Tim Nicholson, senior manager, Market Development, CT Business Unit, Toshiba
Judith Schmalzing, CT product & installed base manager, Siemens Healthcare
Ken Denison, micro imaging and CT dose leader, GE Healthcare