Emory Healthcare Imaging Clinical Decision Support Information

Starting in January 2022, providers who order advanced imaging (CT, MRI, PET, and Nuclear Medicine) for Medicare patients must consult an imaging clinical decision support (CDS) application at the time of order. The imaging CDS applications will make recommendations when the reasons for the ordering imaging are related to 8 priority clinical areas. Providers do not have to follow the recommendations made by a CDS application about imaging, but their consultation with the CDS must be documented in order for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to process reimbursement for the examinations.

Why do we have to do this?

This requirement was put in place by the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) and is a federal requirement. Not complying may lead to delays in patient care and reimbursement denials. This information will be required for your patient’s advanced imaging examination to be scheduled. CMS has stated that providers who consistently order inappropriate studies may have to take additional steps before ordering studies in the future.

Does this apply to all patients?

This requirement applies to all outpatients and Emergency Department patients.

What does this mean for my ordering workflow?

Specific required information must be provided along with an order for advanced imaging so that it can be transmitted to CMS. This information consists of codes (G Code and a modifier) that tell CMS about the application consulted and the results of that consultation process.

You may have access to imaging CDS through your own practice’s EMR. If your practice’s EMR is imaging CDS enabled, you can use it to go through the CDS process and include the required G-code and modifier on the imaging request given to your patient or sent to Emory scheduling.

For your convenience, Emory Healthcare has an imaging CDS portal for providers who are ordering advanced imaging for their patients. Access Emory's Imaging CDS Portal by clicking the link below. 

What are the eight priority clinical areas?

While an approved imaging CDS application must be consulted for all CT, MRI, nuclear medicine, or PET orders, the CDS applications will offer specific guidance for the following eight priority clinical areas and associated diagnoses.

  • Coronary artery disease (suspected or diagnosed)
  • Suspected pulmonary embolism
  • Headache (traumatic and nontraumatic)
  • Hip pain
  • Low back pain
  • Shoulder pain (to include suspected rotator cuff injury)
  • Cancer of the lung (primary or metastatic, suspected or diagnosed)
  • Cervical or neck pain

How can I log into Emory’s imaging CDS portal?

Access Emory's Imaging CDS Portal by clicking the link below. If you need help with establishing your account or have questions, please contact Nabile M. Safdar, MD, MPH by sending an e-mail to nabile.m.safdar@emory.edu.