Medical organizations gather for ultrasound practice forum hosted by AIUM

May 03, 2006

The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) recently hosted the 2006 Ultrasound Practice Forum in Washington, DC, on April 21, 2006. Twenty-five organizations joined in discussions on training and exam guidelines and scope of practice in anticipation of regulation and reimbursement trends in ultrasound.

Guest speakers provided the group with up-to-date information on the issues. Jill Rathbun, president of Galileo Consulting Group, spoke on federal legislation affecting ultrasound, specifically MedPAC, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Congress. Victor Panza, an imaging management consultant, indicated that the trend for payers will be to rely more heavily on accreditation as a requirement for reimbursement. Sandra Katanick, RN, RVT, CAE, executive director for the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission, provided examples of the numerous and varied accreditation payment policies already in place. There appeared to be consensus that the development of training and examination guidelines was a critical component in quality assurance.

The AIUM has worked collaboratively with several organizations with regard to the development of clinical guidelines and has an established accreditation program. Practice accreditation provides third-party payers with assurance that high-quality care is being provided. Guidelines are an essential element in the development of an accreditation program. Individuals from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American Society of Breast Surgeons, the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, and the Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Society were candid and forthright in discussing their experiences--both challenges and successes--in collaborating with the AIUM to develop appropriateness criteria. Forum participants agreed to establish a working group to develop ways of assessing minimum training requirements in varied settings.

This meeting is just one step in the process of working together to develop joint guidelines and accreditation opportunities. Routine and ongoing discussion and continued yearly forums are anticipated.
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American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine

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