Milestone Moment: House of Representatives Report Calls for Examination of AUC Mandate

Last week, ASNC achieved an important milestone in the ongoing effort to convince Congress to re-examine the Appropriate Use Criteria Program. 

The achievement came when the House Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education spending bill and an accompanying report that calls on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to – 

  • Report to Congress on challenges associated with implementation of the AUC Program; and
  • Examine existing quality-improvement programs' influence on appropriate use of advanced diagnostic imaging.

ASNC pushed for the report language, which was shepherded through the appropriations process by Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH). As the leader of an informal coalition of 30+ medical societies calling for repeal of the mandate, ASNC argued that the AUC Program – 

  • Has become outdated since its creation by Congress in 2014; 
  • Is overly prescriptiveand 
  • Duplicates many of the aims of the Quality Payment Program, thus adding costs and administrative burden on physician practices. 

Amidst delays and setbacks, Congress has historically ignored the program and its problems. 

Now What?

Final congressional action on the FY 2022 spending bill is not expected until the end of this year. Stay tuned to ASNC for updates and calls to action.