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AUC Mandate – Clinical Decision Support

AUC Mandate MedicareBeginning January 1, 2018, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) will require referring providers to consult appropriate use criteria (AUC) prior to ordering advanced diagnostic imaging services – CT, MR, PET, and nuclear medicine exams – for Medicare patients.

Providers can access imaging AUC via stand-alone electronic clinical decision support (CDS) systems or CDS software embedded in a physician’s electronic health record (EHR). The American College of Radiology (ACR) anticipates providers documenting that they consulted AUC by entering a provider identifier likely to be called a “decision support number (DSN)” in the exam order.

Rendering providers – radiologist or otherwise – may not receive Medicare payment for an advanced imaging exam if the referring provider does not verify that imaging AUC were consulted, and the mandate states that ordering physicians cannot shift the requirement to consult the guidelines to radiologists.

Although we cannot perform AUC administrative duties for referring providers, we strongly encourage you to prepare for this mandate by becoming familiar with the available CDS options so that access to care is not adversely affected by the new requirement.

The ACR-developed CDS – ACR Select® (digital ACR Appropriateness Criteria®) is an available option that can be integrated into most common EHRs and is expected to meet PAMA requirements. ACR Select is also available as a free online portal. CMS will announce approved CDS systems by June 30th and we will send additional information at that time.


For additional information online:

CMS.gov
www.cms.gov/medicare/quality-initiatives-patient-assessment-instruments/appropriate-use-criteria-program/index.html

ACR.org
www.acr.org/Advocacy/Economics-Health-Policy/Clinical-Decision-Support

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X-Ray Services Closure

As of May 8th 2017 we will no longer provide X-ray services at North State Imaging, 1702 Esplanade. North State Radiology will continue to provide all other services at the following outpatient facilities:

For questions call (530) 898-0504.

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Countdown to ICD 10 | North State Radiology

CMS-ICD-10

Countdown to ICD 10

 

North State Radiology is among the providers and hospitals across the nation working to prepare for the upcoming shift from ICD 9 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes to the new ICD 10 CPT codes effective October of this year.  You can check out the current countdown to ICD 10 on the Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) website. 

How will ICD 10 affect patients? While patients might not directly see any immediate changes, there is expected to be a great improvement on patient outcome and public health tracking.  It is also thought that ICD 10 will aid in decreasing errors in physician orders by adding much more detail, leaving less to be misinterpreted down the line.

Examples of the enhancements made to the ICD-10-CM code set:
  • It enables reporting of laterality (right vs. left designations), reflecting the importance of which side of the body or limb (e.g., left arm, left kidney, left eye) is the subject of the evaluation.
  • It restructures reporting of obstetric diagnoses. In ICD-9-CM, the patient is classified by diagnosis in relation to the episode of care. In ICD-10-CM, the patient is classified by diagnosis in relation to the patient’s trimester of pregnancy.

Transitioning from ICD 9 to ICD 10 comes with many challenges and a wide learning curve. To help ease the impact on local physicians and medical offices, we will be hosting a an educational session for coders, office staff and providers.  The sessions will be held from August 19th to the 23rd in Chico.  Local offices can contact us to learn more about registering for the event, or use the code on their invitation to register via Eventbrite

Stay tuned on our Facebook page for the latest North State Radiology News!

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Introducing Chico Breast Care Center| 3D Mammography

Press Release

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North State Radiology is pleased to announce the opening of the Chico Breast Care Center and the addition of new 3D Mammography technology! 

Although Chico Breast Care Center is new, its roots in the community are not.  As the most recent addition to the North State Radiology family of services, Chico Breast Care Center is owned and operated by the physicians of North State Radiology, a long-established and trusted partner in the local medical community.  The group has previously provided breast care services at North State Imaging and its affiliate, Breast Care Center of Northern California.

But unlike the past, coming to Chico Breast Care Center will be an entirely new experience.  “There was a growing vision among our breast care physicians to create a truly comprehensive, integrated center of services designed around every need a breast care patient could have,” says Dr. Jim Schlund, Medical Director of the new center.  The center offers comprehensive breast care services, including the newest 3D Mammography, a revolutionary new screening and diagnostic tool that has been shown to detect breast cancer earlier and smaller than traditional film or 2D digital mammography. 

“Our goal was to combine breast imaging with other equally important components of breast care in a single brand new state-of-the-art facility,” says Dr. Schlund.  In addition to screening and diagnostic imaging with 3D Mammography, breast ultrasound, and breast MRI, the center will also offer risk assessment, breast biopsy, nurse navigation, and if needed, referral to high risk clinic or surgical consultation, conveniently located upstairs.  It is the only outpatient center in California that offers this full sprectrum of coordinated care all under one roof. 

“Chico Breast Care Center is staffed by people selected to work in an environment senstive to the needs of breast care patients and is unique in its depth of integration and comprehensive approach to patient care,” says Tracie Fox, Public Relations Coordinator for North State Radiology.  Additionally, the center is one of only six in California, and 50 in the U.S., to be designated as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence by the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers (NQMBC).  “This designation represents our ongoing commitment to quality breast care,” says Ms. Fox. “Women in the North State can now look forward to a completely new continuum of care that is changing the way breast cancer is screened, diagnosed, and treated.”

 

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