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AIM Clinical Guidelines Effective Nov. 1

Release Date: August 27, 2012

AIM Specialty HealthSM (AIM) is pleased to announce that it has completed its 2012 Clinical Guideline Review Process and has implemented several enhancements based on the latest evidence-based guidelines to help ensure that patients receive the most appropriate care.

Beginning November 1, 2012, the following changes will take effect:

  • CT/MRI of the Spine:  Based on recommendations by medical societies regarding early imaging in non-specific low back pain, AIM has enhanced its guidelines to clarify and narrow the scope of non-specific back pain requests at the intake level.
  • CT/MRI of the Brain:  AIM has also refined its guidelines for the diagnoses of headache and syncope to minimize requests for CT/MRI of the brain for patients without specific risk factors for structural disease. 
  • CTA of the Chest:  Reporting on provider ordering patterns indicates that there is an opportunity to more closely examine imaging requests for pulmonary embolism (PE).  Guideline language has been strengthened to reinforce that imaging studies are most appropriate in cases where PE is strongly suspected.
  • MPI/Stress Echo:  Consensus recommendations indicate a shift towards more conservative periods of surveillance imaging for coronary artery disease in stable or asymptomatic patients.

These guidelines also align with several of the recommendations outlined by nine leading national medical organizations as part of the Choosing Wisely campaign.

Additionally, effective November 1, 2012, in support of AIM’s longstanding guideline on the appropriateness of simultaneous ordering of multiple imaging tests, clinical information to support the medical necessity of these multiple studies may be requested in select circumstances.  In these cases, providers may be asked to provide additional information via written medical records or a peer to peer discussion with an AIM medical director.

To help build greater awareness about these and other evidence-based practices for the ordering of specialty care services, AIM is introducing Peer to Peer, an electronic newsletter-that offers you and your staff helpful information including recent articles, checklists and other resources about the use of these services.  Your first copy of Peer to Peer will be arriving early this fall.