The AHA and American Medical Association last week urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to delay until at least Jan. 1, 2023, the deadline for physicians, hospitals and health systems to implement appropriate use criteria for advanced diagnostic imaging services, citing “the unprecedented financial strain placed on providers by the COVID-19 public health emergency, continued technological challenges, and the need for additional programmatic guidance.”

While CMS previously delayed the Jan. 1, 2020, start date for the program’s consultation and reporting requirements to Jan. 1, 2021, and the testing period until Jan. 1, 2022, the program “requires a significant investment in information technology systems’ changes, maintenance, workflow reconfiguration, staff training, and other resources in order for providers to comply with programmatic requirements,” the organizations wrote. “The ongoing demands of meeting patient care needs caused by the pandemic leave providers unprepared and ill-equipped to devote these necessary resources to ensure a successful implementation of the AUC program under the current timeline.”

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