In December 2016, legislation that would cut Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to the Technical Component portion of reimbursements for X-Ray services performed utilizing computed radiography (CR) and analogue (film), was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama. This legislation was included in the omnibus appropriations package thereby escaping the surveillance of advocacy groups like the American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives (AAOE). Cuts to film will begin in 2017 and will cut 20% from reimbursements. Cuts to CR will begin in 2018 at 7% and escalate in 2023 to 10%.
AAOE surveyed members to gauge the impact of this policy on member practices and partnered with the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) to survey their physician membership on the clinical impacts of this policy. Both AAOE and AAOS respondents indicated that if these cuts are allowed to proceed, jobs would be cut, facility upgrades would be delayed or halted, or the practice would limit or cease its care of Medicare/Medicaid patients.