Recently, prominent health insurance provider, Anthem rolled out a policy ceasing reimbursement for outpatient MRI and CT scans performed at hospitals in nine states. In August, they announced plans to expand that policy to five more states by March 2018, at which point an estimated 4.5 million BCBS members will be affected.
Unsurprisingly, the policy is polarizing among imaging providers. Hospitals clearly aren't in favor of this change (a statement from the ACR calls the policy, "arbitrary and unwise" 1), seeing it as a harsh blow to their bottom line, while freestanding imaging centers see it as an opportunity to expand their services through greater referral volume.
Below we'll take a look at the facts of what Anthem has implemented as well as offer some ideas about what this move might mean as its aftershocks continue to be felt at facilities of all stripes across the medical imaging field.