Signed into law on April 1, 2014, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (H.R. 4302) prevented a 24% cut to physician payments and established a new Computed Tomography (CT) Dose Differential Payment Policy. This policy requires Medicare providers to meet the NEMA XR-29 Smart Dose Standard for dose optimization on CT exams. Effective January 1, 2016, freestanding imaging centers and hospital outpatient providers who accept Medicare patients and do not meet this standard will be subjected to a 5% reimbursement cut for CT scans on non-compliant equipment. In 2017 and beyond, Medicare providers using non-compliant CT equipment will experience a 15% reimbursement reduction. This differential payment based on safety is somewhat unique in the U.S., which generally reimburses independent of equipment type.
Siemens Position The NEMA Smart Dose Standard is the next step in a longstanding effort by Siemens Healthcare and the industry to reduce and optimize dose to improve patient safety. As such, Siemens Healthcare fully supports the NEMA Smart Dose Standard and the CT Dose Differential Payment Policy, which establishes a dose optimization standard and provides an incentive for providers to meet that standard.
All new Siemens Healthcare CT systems are fully compliant with the Smart Dose Standard. And, we are committed to helping existing customers successfully meet these standards before 2016 and thus avoid cuts in Medicare reimbursement. The following new Siemens SOMATOM CT scanners have demonstrated compliance with the NEMA XR 29 Smart Dose Standard: Force, Definition Flash, Definition Edge, Definition AS and AS+, Perspective, and Emotion.
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