ACC Statement on MedPAC’s Report to Congress

Contact: Beth Casteel,, 202.375.6275

Washington, DC – The American College of Cardiology’s (ACC) CEO, Jack Lewin, MD, today made the following statement following the release of MedPAC’s June 2011 report to Congress:
“MedPAC’s June 2011 report to Congress released today includes recommendations related to diagnostic imaging services that the American College of Cardiology (ACC) opposes.
“The ACC strongly opposes prior authorization of advanced imaging procedures, as the report recommends, because requiring prior authorization would increase the administrative burden on Medicare, increase physician practice costs and could interfere with the physician-patient relationship, potentially delaying timely access to life-saving procedures.
“We believe this recommendation is based on a misconception that Medicare’s imaging costs continue to rise at a rapid rate, while laws and regulations adopted in the last five years have significantly reduce the growth and will continue to impact imaging costs and trends.
“The adoption of decision-support tools based on appropriate use criteria is a better option than prior authorization. Appropriate use criteria are designed to guide physicians on when and how often to do a given procedure, engage physicians in shared responsibility for imaging services and support current efforts to increase transparency and cost effectiveness. 
“We hope that Congress and CMS do not adopt these MedPAC recommendations related to diagnostic imaging services as they will negatively affect the physician-patient relationship.”


Interview requests for Dr. Jack Lewin can be made by contacting Beth Casteel or Shannon Cline.
View the joint comments submitted to MedPAC in March by 27 medical societies, including the ACC.

About the American College of Cardiology

The American College of Cardiology is transforming cardiovascular care and improving heart health through continuous quality improvement, patient-centered care, payment innovation and professionalism. The College is a 39,000-member nonprofit medical society comprised of physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers, and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet its stringent qualifications. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines, and is a staunch supporter of cardiovascular research. The ACC provides professional education and operates national registries for the measurement and improvement of quality care. More information about the association is available online at

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