Medic Vision Blog

XR-29 solutions and FDA clearance: New policies without clear directions and regulations create confusion, uncertainty, even injustice.

Posted by Eyal Aharon on Mar 31, 2016 3:58:27 PM

The NEMA XR-29 standard went into effect earlier this year and yet there are many unanswered questions about compliance, auditing and regulatory aspects of proposed solutions.

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Topics: Low dose CT, Low Dose CT Reporting Standards

CMS announced the rules: It’s coming! No delay for XR-29

Posted by Eyal Aharon on Nov 9, 2015 11:20:57 AM

Ready or not, it’s coming. CMS pre-published the 2016 rules for Hospital Outpatient Payments and Physician Fee Schedule. These rules will be formally published on Nov. 13 and Nov.  16, respectively.   Despite numerous requests, CMS has decided not to delay the implementation of XR-29, and so effective January 1, 2016, CT operators will have to use a specific Code Modifier to report CT scans that were performed with CT scanners that do not comply with the XR-29 “Smart Dose” Standard.  Beyond the burden of reporting, facilities will also face the financial hardship of 5% reduction in payments for scans performed on non-compliant systems.

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Topics: CT Dose Reporting

What’s really behind XR-29 follow-up paper

Posted by Eyal Aharon on Jul 16, 2015 3:54:00 PM

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Clarity. It is the cornerstone of good communication.

So when it comes to the hot topic of the XR-29 standard that affects so many imaging departments and practices, why are so many communications on the topic not clear?

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Topics: Low dose CT lung screening

Reimbursements for Lung Cancer Screening - Will You Get Tickets to the Show?

Posted by Eyal Aharon on May 14, 2015 4:56:36 PM

Whether it’s an upcoming concert featuring your favorite musician, or a popular Broadway show you’d love to see, you always wind up asking yourself the same question as the show nears: Should I get tickets? Is it worth the price? At the end of the day – for most of us – the final decision is usually guided by cost.

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Topics: Low dose CT lung screening

CMS to Cover LDCT Lung Cancer Screenings – But How Low Can Your Dose Go?

Posted by Eyal Aharon on Feb 3, 2015 12:30:00 PM

What is a lot of snow? As the northeast just experienced a snow storm, there are many opinions about whether or not it was a lot. Those who live in New Jersey may think 1 foot is average, while those in upstate New York think that’s a light amount. And there is no meteorological standard to define “a lot”; just public opinion.

When you look at medical imaging, the question currently being asked is:  what is “low dose”? Is a chest CT scan at 4 mSv low dose? It is lower than today’s standard, but does it qualify as “low dose”? Quite surprisingly, while the topic of low dose CT has been played out for years now, the definition - which is quite necessary when it comes to radiation dose – has often remained undefined.  

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Topics: Low dose CT lung screening

Solving Radiology’s Age-Old Dichotomy of Cost vs. Quality

Posted by Eyal Aharon on Nov 19, 2014 12:00:00 PM

There has long been a stigma in life that higher cost equals higher quality. Pay more for your suit or shoes and they must be better than the lower cost alternative, right? Maybe. Maybe not.

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Topics: Low Dose CT Reporting Standards, CT Management,

Wanted: straight answers. New low dose CT mandates bring more questions than answers.

Posted by Eyal Aharon on Nov 6, 2014 11:35:36 AM

Creating standards. Improving reporting. Lowering dose to better the health and safety of patients and staff. These are laudable goals, and the new Standard XR-29-2013 from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association’s (NEMA’s) Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) is taking them on.  

Otherwise known as MITA Smart Dose, the new XR-29 standard aims to incentivize healthcare organizations to adopt today’s advanced dose optimization and management and dose reduction solutions or be at risk of 5% reductions on CT scans – upwards of 15% or more by 2017 – if they do not meet the technology compliance standards outlined in this policy.

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Topics: Low Dose CT Reporting Standards

Are we lowering CT dose for patients – or for ourselves?

Posted by Eyal Aharon on Oct 6, 2014 8:30:00 AM

A recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine supports the value of low-dose CT lung scanning for high-risk Medicare-eligible patients. This is seemingly good news, right?  MITA, the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance, has come out and applauded the effort. And when taken at face value, it does seem praise worthy - groups are aligning and the benefit should be low dose CT exams and improved health outcomes with both being achievable without a heavy financial burden for seniors.

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Topics: CT dose reduction, Low dose CT lung screening, CT Dose Reporting, Low dose CT