February 27, 2009 Diagnostic Imaging. White House calls for imaging preauthorization in budget plan By H.A. Abella The Obama administration has sent to Congress a budget that relies on radiology benefit managers to cut imaging utilization costs, mirroring a recommendation issued last summer by the Government Accountability Office. Just like that recommendation did, the budget proposal drew criticism from imaging proponents. The GAO report released in June 2008 confirmed findings of a 2005 Medicare Payment Advisory Commission study that identified outpatient MRI, CT, and other high-tech imaging as the fastest growing component of physician services covered by Medicare. Prompted by the Senate, the GAO looked into management models used in the private sector to slow down imaging spending. It found that payers had successfully used prior authorization and recommended the strategy.
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