The American College of Radiology (ACR), Reston, Va, is offering a new online nuclear medicine and PET accreditation application program that the ACR says will allow facilities to complete its accreditation for Medicare in half the time, compared to its traditional program.

The new nuclear medicine and PET accreditation programs are available on the ACR’s website.

Harvey L. Neiman, MD, FACR, American College of Radiology Chief Executive Officer, stated in the ACR announcement, “The most notable benefit to the new online system is the speed: the process has enabled accreditation approval time to be cut in half, meaning facilities can expect a final report in less than three months from the time they submit their images for review.”

The ACR has added to its accreditation staff of certified radiologic technologists to guide applicants through the accreditation process.

The online program is in response to a new CMS accreditation requirement. Effective Jan. 1, 2012, all providers who bill for PET, MRI, CT and nuclear medicine under part B of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule must be accredited by the ACR, The Joint Commission or the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission in order to receive the technical component reimbursement from Medicare.

Facilities are urged to apply early to meet the January 1, 2012 deadline and avoid the accreditation rush that will likely occur closer to the deadline. Facilities that are not accredited by that date will receive no grace or probation period by CMS, and automatically rejected for reimbursement for services.