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SNMMI Needs Your Help – RUC Survey

October 25, 2018

The American Medical Association (AMA) has an expert panel called the Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) that advocates for accurate valuation of all physician services. They will be conducting a survey of new and revised 2020 PET, PET-CT, SPECT, SPECT-CT, and a quantification CPT codes in early November of 2018. This survey will be slightly different than the one administered in July 2018. The AMA has allowed simplification since the amount of codes in both surveys are numerous. Here are a few things to know.

The survey is random. If you are chosen, please take the time to respond. If you answered the survey in July, you can respond again. If you are not familiar with an AMA RUC survey, we encourage you to watch this YouTube video to learn more about the survey. 

Other important things to know:

  • The survey is important because it is used by the RUC Committee of the AMA to determine physician work involved with various procedures. The RUC will send its recommendations to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), then CMS decides whether it will accept the RUC's recommendation and assigns Relative Value Units (RVUs) for physician work involved. Those RVUs are used to set payment for procedures in Medicare.
  • If you are selected, and perform the services mentioned in the survey, please take the survey.

If you are trained and do not currently provide the service, but you are still familiar with the procedures; please take the survey. If you do not perform the services and you are not trained in the areas being surveyed, only answer the questions on the services that you perform or are familiar from past performing. You may also opt out entirely.

There are a total of 17 nuclear medicine codes that will be in three separate November surveys and links. Each code can take 5 to 10 minutes to complete,Please allow enough time to complete in one sitting for PET and PET-CT survey, as this is a new format that does not have a save feature.

The reason why there is a difference in the functionality of the PET and PET-CT versus the SPECT and SPECT-CT survey is that they are set up in different platforms because varying societies are involved in each survey.

  • For the SPECT and SPECT-CT you may begin and come back to the survey later if necessary.
  • If you do not understand a code or any question, please email Denise Merlino, and she can take the time to talk with you or email you clarification.

Please note: SNMMI is not allowed to coach you in how to fill it out the survey. We are held to strict confidentiality agreements. SNMMI has designated Denise Merlino as our AMA RUC staff, as she is the best resource for questions about the CPT codes and the survey. Please direct your inquires to Denise Merlino.

Sometimes someone who performs PET does not get a survey. This is because they must be a member of one of the surveying societies in order to receive it.

If you have questions please contact Denise Merlino now, before the survey is implemented in November.