New Chairs, Same Mission

As the cast of volunteers evolves, the Commission on Economics continues to work to maintain payments and ensure radiology’s place in future payment systems.

august economics 

The Commission on Economics thanks the outgoing chairs and welcomes the new chairs who will lead the following important committees: Managed Care, the Radiology Integrated Care (RIC) Network, Interventional Radiology (IR), Academic Radiology, and Reimbursement (RUC). I discussed our new MACRA Committee and its chair, Greg Nicola, MD, in last month’s July column.

The newly appointed committee members are recognized experts in their respective areas of payment policy. The chairs and their committees will collaborate to maintain the commission’s unwavering commitment to protecting radiology’s place in legacy payment systems, such as fee for service. In addition, they will work to ensure radiology’s place in future payment models, such as those defined by the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).
Mark O. Bernardy, MD, FACR, previously the chair of the Managed Care Committee, is now the vicechair of the Commission on Economics. He will help oversee our broader economic actions. Robert G. Berkenblit, MD, FACR, will continue our efforts to ensure favorable coverage for such important services as mammography/tomosynthesis, lung cancer screening, and CT colonography.
Joaquim M. Farinhas, MD, and David A. Rosman, MD, were the founding chairs of the RIC Network. The RIC Network was developed to allow radiologists with local experience working within new payment models to share their experiences and is the ACR’s vehicle for monitoring implementation strategies for new and novel payment structures. The new chair of the RIC Network is Seth M. Hardy, MD, who brings to the job experience from his accountable care organization in Maine. He will help facilitate the broader exchange of ideas necessary for more far-reaching success.
The Commission on Economics maintains a number of specialty committees in order to provide the clinical expertise necessary to inform payment policy. Sean M. Tutton, MD, has served as chair of the IR Committee since 2012, helping us navigate the rapid bundling and restructuring of the IR component coding system. Our new chair, C. Matthew Hawkins, MD, an expert on IR coding, authors the Coding Q&A Column for the Society of Interventional Radiology’s IR Quarterly.
James V. Rawson, MD, FACR, the founding chair of the Commission on Patient- and Family-Centered Care, leaves his role as chair of our Committee on Economic Issues in Academic Radiology. The new chair is Joshua A. Hirsch, MD, FACR, the perfect choice to inform our actions. In fact, the ACR’s recent strategic plan includes the following expectation of economics: “Promote appropriate funding for radiology graduate medical education and research within health care reform.” This will require a high level of experience and focus, which we are confident that Dr. Hirsch can bring to the effort.
It has been a personal honor to serve as chair of the Reimbursement Committee and as the advisor to the Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) from 2012 to 2016. During that time, I led a team committed to maintaining the valuation of radiology services when confronted with a number of challenges, including the far-reaching “potentially misvalued” initiative, which brought forth dozens of radiology codes for revaluation. The RUC processes can be quite technical, and negotiations at the RUC can be delicate. I am confident that under the direction and leadership of the incoming chair, the Reimbursement Committee will thrive. Our new chair, Kurt A. Schoppe, MD, has a solid reputation with the RUC, having served as the alternate advisor to the RUC since 2012.
It is with deep gratitude that I thank our outgoing chairs and welcome our new chairs. I am confident that they are well prepared to lead their talented committee members and staff. As health care policy evolves from a volume- to a value-driven architecture, having talented and motivated individuals to lead that transition is critical. Success in this realm will require collaboration within the ACR and external collaboration with stakeholders and policymakers. I thank our new chairs for providing that leadership.


dr silvaEzequiel Silva III, MD, FACR, Chair

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