News in neuroimaging

AAN Neuroimaging Section News

Please go the the AAN site to review recent newsletters from the Neuroimaging Section.  www.aan.com/about/sections/neuroimaging.cfm .

Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Magnetic Resonance Laboratories (ICAMRL) News

ICAMRL is launching a revamped accreditation program for magnetic resonance laboratories. 

The ICAMRL accreditation program has been developed independent of a membership organization by an intersocietal, multispecialty approach. Sponsoring organizations include the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Academy of Neurology, the American College of Cardiology, the American Society of Neuroimaging, and the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, as well as members-at-large representing radiology.

Available beginning November 1, 2005, accreditation is offered in the separately defined areas of body, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and neurological. Laboratories can apply in any or all of these areas, depending on the types and numbers of procedures they perform.

http://www.icamrl.org/icamrl/index.htm

Coalition for Patient-Centered Imaging

Coalition for Patient-Centered Imaging (CPCI) is urging Congress not to limit imaging to a select few MDs and settings.  They spoke to the House Ways and Means Committee February 10, 2005.

http://waysandmeans.house.gov/hearings.asp?formmode=printfriendly&id=3076 

The CPCI is urging MDs to contact their legislators to prevent a radiologist monopoly  of imaging services.  Please see this file:

http://vns.aan.com/media/cpci_action_requested.pdf

MSV Task Force appointed ;  Meets July 12

At the March meeting the MSV appointed a task force to study imaging in Virginia.  This includes members from all interested subspecialties.

Our first meeting occurred  on July 12 in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia Radiology library.  Attending were Blair Marsteller, MD from the Virginia Neurological Society, Mike Valentine, MD from cardiology and Bruce Hillman, MD from radiology, and representatives of the Medical Society of Virginia.   Several other specialties were connected by telephone.

Two decisions were made.  First we will advocate a study of imaging (CT, MRI, PET) in the state including ownership and utilization.  Second, each society will send its imaging guidelines to Mike Jurgensen of the MSV so we might pound out qualification guidelines for Virginia imagers. 

In line with this Mike Jurgensen has been provided the AAN Guidelines for imaging.    He will also receive the ICAMRL MRI lab accreditation guidelines.

MedPAC report to Congress 3-17-05

Imaging services have experienced a big increase in utilization.  While the sum of all physician services grew 22% from 1999-2003, imaging swelled by more than twice that at 45%.  Congress has noticed and MedPAC (Medicare Payment Advisory Commission) drafted the report below.  In this report,  "the Commission has concluded that it is time for the Medicare program to differentiate among providers when making payments."  Please take time to fully read this important document.

On June 7, MSV President David Ellington,MD convened a meeting of imagers to discuss these findings and to work together to find a solution.  Attending this meeting were radiologists, neurologists, cardiologists, pulmonologists, OBs, and orthopedic surgeons. 

A smaller group including Virginia Neurological Society President H. Blair Marsteller, MD was appointed to a committee to discuss and suggest solutions to these issues.  Please stay tuned to this page for news of our progress.

MedPAC 3-17-05 imaging report

American Society of Neuroimaging Fellowship Opportunity

Winchester Neurological Consultants offers a ASN certified fellowship in neuroimaging.  Dr. Patrick Capone is the director of the fellowship.  Please see the following link for more information.

ASN Fellowship information

AAN News February 2005

The AAN has been working with a number of prominent medical specialties including the American College of Cardiology and the American Medical Group Association to deter efforts by organized radiology groups to impede patient access to imaging by non-radiologists.  The Academy is also tracking and responding to new legislative and payer initiatives by radiologists at both the state and federal levels.  For example, the AAN signed onto a letter to the Medicare Advisory Commission encouraging the commission to critically review reform proposals coming from radiologists.

In December 2004, the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the United Health Group, which serves 55 million members nationwide, joined forces to establish criteria for “appropriate” imaging services. They also intend to expand the use of accreditation programs of the ACR to review and measure the compliance of personnel, equipment, quality, and safety of imaging facilities.  This may have a negative impact on neurologists who provide imaging services to their patients.

The Academy is watching possible policy challenged form radiology in California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

The AAN contends that in-office imaging offers high quality, cost effective, care and reliable results.  Furthermore:
• A prohibition on in office diagnostic testing would reduce patient access to timely, convenient testing, and disrupt the important continuity of acre.
• Neurologists receive significant training in the delivery and interpretation of diagnostic imaging tests.
• There is no credible evidence that in office imaging is being conducted inappropriately or is resulting in inaccurate diagnoses.
• Restricting imaging self-referral access will not lower healthcare costs.

Members are asked to report any local initiatives in their areas that appear to limit access to non-radiology imaging services and respond to action alerts from the AAN.  To learn more about this issue of share information contact Dana Bacon at dbacon@aan.com or 651-695-2790.

ASN Position Statement:

American Society of Neuroimaging Position Statement regarding clinicians as imagers:

ASN Position Statement

©2005 Virginia Neurological Society - All rights reserved.
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