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Editor's e-Note
Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rolled out the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule. Of particular interest is a proposal to loosen some controls on physician supervision of radiologist assistants.

Many feel that current regulations needlessly tie up physicians during diagnostic tests, and it would be more efficient and cost-effective to allow the assistants a degree of latitude. At this early stage, the ACR reports being “pleased with several provisions to the rule” and applauds CMS’ efforts to move toward implementation.

Read on to see what else the ACR has to say, and share your thoughts with us via e-mail or Twitter.

— Dave Yeager, editor
e-News Exclusive
CMS Moves Forward With AUC/CDS January 1, 2020, Deadline

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently released the calendar year 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) proposed rule. CMS has proposed claims processing instructions in order to move forward with implementation of appropriate use criteria (AUC)/clinical decision support (CDS) for all advanced diagnostic imaging services on January 1, 2020.

CMS is also proposing to revise the physician supervision requirements so that any diagnostic test performed by a radiologist assistant may be furnished under, at most, a direct level of physician supervision, when performed by a radiologist assistant in accordance with state law and state scope of practice rules.

This is in response to stakeholder comments that the current requirement of personal supervision that applies to some diagnostic tests is overly restrictive, when the test is performed by a radiologist assistant, and does not allow for radiologists to make full use of radiologist assistants; many believe that reducing the required level of supervision will improve efficiency of care.

Full story »
Other Imaging News
Roasted Barley Earns High Marks as Contrast Agent
According to a study at the University at Buffalo, a roasted version of barley, with the help of a laser beam, can effectively illuminate the throat and gastrointestinal tract. This discovery could, the researchers say, improve the ability to diagnose swallowing and gut disorders—afflictions that affect more than 15 million Americans.

Ivy League Medical Students Cross-Train Using Animal X-Rays
The New York Times reports that Harvard Medical School students are increasingly favoring an elective that involves studying zoological images at Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo. Four-legged patients, they say, inspire a comprehensive medical worldview.

Optical Ultrasound System Unveiled
According to the Optical Society, researchers are developing an all-optical ultrasound image system that produces real-time 2D imaging. This innovation—using optical, instead of electronic, components in the imaging probe—heralds the use of ultrasound systems in tandem with MRI scanners.

‘Eye-Rolling’ Shrimp Study Could Have Imaging Applications
Scientists at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom are studying the eyes of the mantis shrimp, a creature with the unique ability to rotate its eyes in a complete circle and to detect multiple degrees of polarized light simultaneously. The study, they say, presents the possibility of a novel imaging strategy.
Worth Repeating
“Our hope is that we will be able to move stones back into patients’ kidneys. This could make our patients more comfortable and allow them to deal with the kidney stone on their terms, not on the stone’s terms.”

M. Kennedy Hall, MD, MHS, of University of Washington, regarding UW Medicine’s groundbreaking procedure that uses ultrasound technology to reposition kidney stones
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In This e-Newsletter
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Mobile DR Advances
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Pressing Issue
Patient comfort is a paramount factor influencing a woman’s decision to undergo potentially life-saving mammography. Practices are taking this into account and seeing an uptick in image quantity and quality. Read more »

It Takes Two
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Clean Sweep
Reducing health care–associated infection, as prioritized by The Joint Commission and others, presents specific challenges and opportunities to the radiology industry. Read more »
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The nation's top employers and recruiters of radiology professionals advertise in Radiology Today magazine and post their job openings on and the Physician Recruitment Center. Check out the most recent opportunities that have been submitted by employers from across the country!

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