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Capitol Health Call
July 10, 2013

CMS Needs National Accreditation Standards for Imaging Services

JAMA. 2013;310(2):133. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.8095

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) should create minimum national standards for accreditation of suppliers offering diagnostic imaging services involving computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and nuclear medicine, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported (http://tinyurl.com/mpwus6h).

The GAO report, released May 31, said that the CMS did not establish minimum national standards and instead selected 3 accrediting organizations—the American College of Radiology, the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission, and the Joint Commission—to establish their own standards for quality and safety. But these organizations do not all use the same standards. For example, 2 of the organizations evaluate suppliers’ patient images, while the third instead assesses suppliers’ compliance with other standards necessary to maintain image quality, such as those related to inspection and testing of imaging equipment.