McGinty's study found no intra-service work duplication when different exam interpretations were offered by different physicians in the same group practice. She says small potential efficiencies were found regarding pre- and post-service activities.
Across all scan types this corresponds to a maximum Medicare professional component physician fee reduction of only .95% – 1.87% for the same type of scan. For services from different scan types duplications were too small to quantify, McGinty's study found.
"In a practice like mine… the patient who sustains a head injury and a pelvic injury, if they had a CT scan, that would be read by the neuro-radiologist. And if they had a pelvic fracture, that would be read by a body imager or a musculoskeletal radiologist," McGinty.
"Other than the context that both physicians knowing that the patient had come from a trauma, there is no overlap in terms of what the physicians have to do. There is nothing that makes it easier for that doctor reading that complex pelvic CT… to know that a head CT was done."
McGinty says the ACR is asking CMS to rescind the rule.
"CMS said if they were given additional data to help them understand why there weren't efficiencies across the group practices they would consider it," she says. "We met with CMS on Monday and the paper was out just in time to share it with them. They agreed that they would read it carefully and consider it."
McGinty says ACR believes it's more effective to target reductions in inappropriate imaging by "helping physicians understand what test is appropriate for the clinical set of circumstances they're seeing with the patient."