Come July, ASCs will no longer be required to have radiologists on their medical staffs. CMS has eliminated the requirement as part of its recent efforts to promote efficiency, transparency and productivity, which are scheduled to take effect in 60 days.
Going forward, ASCs using radiologic services will be required to "appoint an individual qualified in accordance with State law and ASC policies who is responsible for assuring that all radiologic services are provided in accordance with the requirements of this section," the agency's provisions say. CMS estimates the change will save ASCs $41 million a year.
The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association applauded the move, having lobbied for the requirement's removal on grounds that radiologic services in ASCs are usually limited to intra-operative guidance that doesn't typically need interpreting. Additionally, many ASCs have found it difficult to find radiologists willing to join their staffs, says ASCA.