August 29, 2007—The Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM), Reston, Va, has signed a letter opposing certain provisions of Section 309 of the Children’s Health and Medicare Protection (CHAMP) Act, which was passed by the House on Aug 1.

“Access to medical imaging is already in jeopardy,” said SNM President Alexander J. McEwan. “While the bill covers a host of significant health care areas and public policy concerns—and should be a top priority for Congress—SNM is concerned about the proposed cuts to medical imaging."
“The cuts to imaging reimbursement are based on flawed data,” explained Gary Dillehay, “and this has been acknowledged both by CMS and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission." Section 309 directs CMS to increase its assumption on the amount of time imaging equipment is used from 50% to 70%, said the chair of SNM’s Coding and Reimbursement Committee. “The higher the utilization rate, the lower the unit of service costs will be. This is an integral component used in Medicare rate setting for imaging and will reduce payments,” he added.