Back in August, Anthem decided they would no longer cover MRI and CT scans for outpatient services. Some of the factors that led to this decision might point to Medicare’s proposed rules for 2018 and could affect other private insurers policies.
At a Radiology Business Management Association’s annual meeting, Pam Kassing, MPA, the senior economic advisor at the American College of Radiology, untangled the reasoning behind these new policy strategies. She explained that the incorporation of the “site neutral” policy in Medicare’s Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) will be used “to create a PFS-like payment system for the use of new sites.”
Kassing said that this move is a response to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s (MedPAC) observation of hospitals buying medical clinics, cardiology offices, and imaging centers.
“MedPAC thinks the hospitals are chasing the money, or someone is chasing the money, to make sure the hospitals that own these sites are going to get paid at the HOPPS rate,” Kassing said. “You will not get paid more or less by having these new sites. Why they didn’t just decide to pay them by the PFS, I don’t know. But now a new fee schedule is to be developed.”