ASNC urges delay of the Medicare Appropriate Use Criteria program

The American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) and 15 other national organizations sent a letter to Congressional committees asking them to delay the Medicare Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) program for advanced diagnostic testing.

With the AUC program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) wants to use evidence-based imaging to improve the quality of care and reduce inappropriate imaging.

The AUC program is expected to be in place on Jan. 1, 2017. Under the mandate, clinicians ordering advanced imaging tests such as nuclear cardiology, cardiac CT and cardiac MRI must consult AUC via a clinical decision support mechanism before getting reimbursed.

In the letter, the organizations wrote that they would not have enough time to meet the AUC program’s deadline and integrate the requirements, which will not be completed until November 2016. They sent the letter to the Senate Finance Committee and House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees.

“ASNC strongly supports the AUC but the deadlines for implementation set by Congress are proving challenging for CMS,” the ASNC said in a news release.