Advocacy Success: CMS Extends AUC Program Testing Period Through 2021

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the Educational and Operations Testing Period for the Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) program through 2021. The testing period was slated to end on Dec. 31, but the ACC and others have been advocating for a delay to the official start of the program given the need for clinicians to focus resources and energy on changes to patient care and practice management as a result of COVID-19.

Under the AUC Program, clinicians must consult with AUC through a qualified clinical decision support mechanism (CDSM) when ordering advanced imaging services (i.e., SPECT/PET MPI, CT and MR) in order to receive payment approval from CMS. The initial Educational and Operations Testing Period started Jan. 1, allowing providers an opportunity to "learn, test and prepare" for the program.

The ACC encourages members to take advantage of the additional one-year delay. The College will provide additional updates as they are available. For more on the AUC Program and ACC efforts, visit Additional information is also available on the CMS AUC Program website.

Clinical Topics: COVID-19 Hub, Noninvasive Imaging, Computed Tomography, Nuclear Imaging

Keywords: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S., Decision Support Systems, Clinical, Medicare, Medicaid, COVID-19, Area Under Curve, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, Patient Care, Referral and Consultation, Health Resources, Tomography, Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon

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