The New York State Radiological Society, Inc (NYSRS) is the New York State Chapter of the American College of Radiology. It was founded in 1953 as the "Radiological Society of the State of New York". It was originally founded when "a group of x-ray physicians felt the need of a state wide organization to strengthen their professional and ethical status". It has evolved into a statewide organization of over 1,200 members. According to our By-Laws, the purposes of this Society shall be those of the American College of Radiology: (1) to advance the science of radiology, and to improve radiologic services to the patient; (2) to study the socioeconomic aspects of the practice of radiology; (3) to encourage improved and continuing education for radiologists and allied professional fields; and (4) to establish and maintain high medical and ethical standards in the practice of radiology and allied professional fields.
Surprise Medical Billing Contact Us
The Honorable Charles Schumer
Senate Minority Leader
The United States Senate
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20516
Dear Senator Schumer:
On behalf of the more than 1500 members of the New York State Radiological Society (NYSRS), I am writing to urge you to work with your Senate colleagues to incorporate a New York-style solution to the problem of surprise medical bills. We hope that any proposal considered in the U.S. Senate includes a market-based payment and a fair, independent dispute resolution system and we firmly believe that the New York state’s existing surprise medical billing law is a successful model for federal legislation.
New York’s solution, enacted in 2015, protects the patient from disputes of unanticipated medical bills while creating a level playing field for providers and insurers. The law has a proven five-year track record of addressing the issue of out of network billing. The proposals from the Senate that we have seen thus far have left us increasingly concerned that rate setting legislation in the Senate may preempt or diminish New York’s existing statute.
As you may be aware, a recent issue brief from the Georgetown University Center on Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR) examined New York’s law and the effects that the law has had on consumers. The authors found that New York’s independent dispute resolution (IDR) process was fair to all parties and the process is working as intended. As noted in the report, the “insurer, provider, and consumer stakeholders generally agree that the implementation of New York’s Surprise Billing law went smoothly, was relatively fair to all parties, and is working as intended to protect consumers from a significant source of financial hardship.” Moreover, the New York State Health Foundation found that the percent of out-of-network emergency department services that were billed decreased from 20.1 percent in 2013, before the law was passed, to 6.4 percent in 2015, after the law went into effect. Lastly, there is no evidence that the new law increased insurance premiums for consumers and the Georgetown University researchers found no evidence of physicians increasing their charges to exploit the system.
The NYSRS commends Representatives Raul Ruiz, M.D., of California and Phil Roe, M.D., of Tennessee, as well as their cosponsors, for introducing HR 3502, Protecting People from Surprise Medical Bills Act, a proposal that builds upon the successful New York state model. We urge you as both our senator and as the Senate minority leader to express your support any legislation that mirrors the “Protecting People from Surprise Medical Bills Act” to build upon a proven solution that provides protections for consumers while establishing a level playing field for providers and insurers.
Richard Friedland M.D.
Richard J. Friedland, MD, FACR
President, New York State Radiological Society
 Corlette and Hoppe, “New York’s 2014 Law to Protect Consumers from Surprise Out-of-Network Bills Mostly Working as Intended: Results of a Case Study” accessed June 19, 2019 https://georgetown.app.box.com/s/6onkj1jaiy3f1618iy7j0gpzdoew2zu9
cc: Hon. Kirsten Gillibrand;
Members of the New York delegation, U.S. House of Representatives
ANOTHER STUDY CONFIRMS THAT SCREENING MAMMOGRAPHY SAVES LIVES
CANCER News Alert
Embargo/Online Publication Date: 00:01 Hours ET, Monday, February 11, 2019 [05.01 Hours UK Time (GMT)/16:01 Hours Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT), February 11]
More than Half a Million Breast Cancer Deaths Averted in the U.S. Over Three Decades
Latest U.S. estimates indicate that since 1989, hundreds of thousands of women’s lives have been saved by mammography and improvements in breast cancer treatment. Published early online inCANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings point to progress made in early detection and management of breast cancer.
Screening mammography for the detection of breast cancer became widely available in the mid-1980s, and various effective therapies have been developed since that time. To estimate the number of breast cancer deaths averted since 1989 due to the collective effects of both screening mammography and improved treatment, R. Edward Hendrick, PhD, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Jay Baker, MD, of Duke University Medical Center, and Mark Helvie, MD, of the University of Michigan Health System, analyzed breast cancer mortality data and female population data for U.S. women aged 40 to 84 years over the past three decades.
Cumulative breast cancer deaths averted from 1990 to 2015 ranged from more than 305,000 women to more than 483,000 women depending on different background mortality assumptions. When extrapolating results to 2018, cumulative breast cancer deaths averted since 1989 ranged from 384,000 to 614,500. When considering 2018 alone, an estimated 27,083 to 45,726 breast cancer deaths were averted. The investigators calculated that mammography and improved treatment decreased the expected mortality rate of breast cancer in 2018 by 45.3 to 58.3 percent.
“Recent reviews of mammography screening have focused media attention on some of the risks of mammography screening, such as call-backs for additional imaging and breast biopsies, downplaying the most important aspect of screening—that finding and treating breast cancer early saves women’s lives. Our study provides evidence of just how effective the combination of early detection and modern breast cancer treatment have been in averting breast cancer deaths,” said Dr. Hendrick.
He noted that currently, only about half of U.S. women over 40 years of age receive regular screening mammography. “The best possible long-term effect of our findings would be to help women recognize that early detection and modern, personalized breast cancer treatment saves lives and to encourage more women to get screened annually starting at age 40.”
Dr. Helvie added that additional benefits will likely be realized as research continues. “While we anticipate new scientific advances that will further reduce breast cancer deaths and morbidity, it is important that women continue to comply with existing screening and treatment recommendations,” he said.
STUDY FINDS THAT MAMMOGRAPHY SAVES LIVES
Radiology Today • November 21
A study published online November 8 in Cancer—Tabar et al—debunks claims that mammography screening is not a primary factor in plummeting breast cancer deaths and reinforces the long-proven fact that Mammography Saves Lives. The study found that women screened regularly for breast cancer have a 47% lower risk of dying from the disease within 20 years of diagnosis than those not regularly screened. Ninety-five percent of all breast cancer deaths occur within 20 years of diagnosis. The Tabar study shows beyond doubt that therapy is far more effective when breast cancers are found earlier via mammography. Screening and therapy work hand in hand. Annual screening starting at age 40 and therapy are vital to saving the most lives,” says Dana Smetherman, MD, chair of the ACR’s Breast Imaging Commission.
National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results data show that since regular mammography use started in the 1980s, breast cancer deaths in women have fallen 43%. Breast cancers deaths in men—who are not screened but get the same treatment as women—have remained virtually unchanged.
The results are also in keeping with large studies—such as Otto et al and Coldman et al—that found regular mammography use cuts the risk of dying from breast cancer nearly in half. Early detection via mammography also enables women to be treated with less extensive surgery, fewer mastectomies, and less chemotherapy.
“The conclusion of this study could not be more clear: Modern treatments are important but not solely sufficient. Women who get regular screening mammograms cut their risk of dying of breast cancer by about half,” says Jay Baker, MD, president of the Society of Breast Imaging. The ACR and the Society of Breast imaging continue to recommend that women start getting annual mammograms at age 40 and continue as long as they are in good health. The ACR also advises women to have a risk assessment by the age of 30 to see if earlier screening is right for them.
NEW ANTHEM BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD OUTPATIENT IMAGING POLICY
Whether you practice in a hospital, office or independent diagnostic testing facility, you should be concerned about the new Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield Outpatient Imaging Policy. It effectively prohibits hospital-based outpatient imaging in your state with only case-by-case exceptions.
Treating diagnostic imaging as a commodity, separate from a patient’s continuum of care, would be a death knell to our profession’s central role in integrated care. This Anthem tactic could turn imaging reimbursement into a race to the bottom with significant consequences for all imaging providers, regardless of setting, and patients alike.
This policy is an effort by Anthem to force hospitals into price reductions outside its contract cycle. Anthem is treating patients and ordering physicians as pawns in its steerage negotiations.
All advanced imaging services are covered by this prior authorization edict. Exceptions to the Anthem policy are based on adherence to “medically necessary” definitions imposed through the Anthem-owned radiology benefit manager, AIM Specialty Health.
The American College of Radiology (ACR) opposes this effort by Anthem and AIM. The ACR has launched an aggressive campaign in your state and the nine other states affected by the Anthem policy.
If left unchallenged, other private insurers and even Medicare could mimic the Anthem policy that treats imaging as a separate, negotiable commodity.
We cannot let this happen. Take action now. Help us fight Anthem and AIM.
- We need to know how this Anthem policy will affect your practice and your patients
- We need your help in understanding the real world impact of this policy
- And, we need examples of how patient care has been impacted at your practice
Please share your experiences of the Anthem imaging policy and encourage your patients to do so here.
If you wish to provide specific patient information, please be aware of HIPAA restrictions and obtain written permission from the patient for this use. We will honor all confidential information you choose to share with us.
Thank you for helping at this critical time,
William T. Thorwarth, MD, FACR
Chief Executive Officer
American College of Radiology
Recent Society Reports
- MINUTES OF BOARD MEETINGS
- Economics Committee
- Physics Committee
- Young Physician Section Committee
- Interspeciality/MSSNY Committee
- Resident and Fellow Section Committee
- Radiation Oncology Committee
- Breast Imaging Committee
- Diversity and Inclusion Committee
- IT Committee
- Insurance and Compensation Committee
- Grassroots Committee
- Interventional Radiology Committee
- Legislative and Counsel Report