Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle Voices Support of Clinical Decision Support and Appropriateness Criteria

July 31, 2013

During the keynote address at the recent Radiology Leadership Institute (RLI) Annual Event, former Senate Majority and Minority Leader Tom Daschle expressed support for computerized decision support systems that use appropriateness criteria in the ordering of medical imaging exams. Daschle — one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act — added that the American College of Radiology’s (ACR) imaging utilization management policy, based on these systems, should become law.

In front of more than 100 radiologists who attended the RLI Annual Event, Daschle talked about what’s next for health care reform. He also expressed concern over the fact that Congress has cut and shifted reimbursement for medical imaging 12 times since 2006. He said he hoped that members of Congress, regardless of their philosophical disposition, will realize that all they’re doing is exacerbating the problem if they continue to cut and shift payments moving forward. Instead of cutting and shifting, Daschle said it would be better for Congress to “redesign and improve” the system.

“I can’t think of a better example of redesigning and improving [health care] than the ACR imaging utilization management policy initiative. It’s an excellent illustration of what it means to redesign and improve — including your clinical decision support tools and the appropriateness criteria that you’ve so articulately shared with members of Congress in recent months. It ought to become an enacted law because it is the kind of way in which to ensure that we’re going to maximize value and reduce cost to the taxpayer and to the country,” said former Senate Majority and Minority Leader Tom Daschle.

The ACR’s new utilization management policy, a key component of Imaging 3.0, mandates that referring physicians consult appropriateness criteria through a clinical decision support tool to ensure that each imaging test is not only clinically appropriate, but in the best interest of the patient.

The RLI Annual Event was held July 25-28, 2013, at the Kellogg School of Management on Northwestern University’s Evanston, IL, campus.