Imaging Leaders Digital Community
CT, MRI use declined in ED after 2007
August 20, 2014 -- After a period of rapid increase from 1993 to 2007, use of medical imaging in the emergency department (ED) declined, mostly because of decreased utilization of CT and MRI, according to a new study published this month in the American Journal of Roentgenology.
Who is the better radiologist?
August 19, 2014 -- If you were a patient, which radiologist would you rather have reading CT scans: the methodical but thorough plodder who orders lots of follow-up studies or the decisive reader who occasionally misses pathology? Would your answer change if you were an administrator? Or a referring physician? Dr. Saurabh Jha explores these questions.
Study shows combined thoracic CT use has dropped
August 14, 2014 -- Combined CT scans of the thorax -- which Medicare has been keeping an eye on -- aren't being overused after all. In fact, use of the combined scans is low and falling over time, according to a new study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
AHRA: Evidence-based medicine requires evidence-based management
August 12, 2014 -- As the U.S. government tries to improve the way healthcare is delivered, the talk is all about evidence-based medicine. But shifting to this framework won't help unless radiology departments are managed the same way, according to a presentation at the AHRA annual meeting in Washington, DC.
AHRA: For patient satisfaction, focus on right-brain skills
August 11, 2014 -- As the delivery of healthcare shifts to value-based service, radiologists and their practices can't neglect patient satisfaction. To achieve service excellence, it's wise to highlight right-brain skills, according to a talk at the AHRA annual meeting in Washington, DC.
Canadian policy to improve MRI referrals has mixed results
August 7, 2014 -- A campaign by the Ontario Ministry of Health to reduce inappropriate referrals for lumbar MRI resulted in more-appropriate exams, but it did not lower the number of new referrals, according to a study published in the August issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
Making a Difference as a Sonographer: Tennis elbow, part 2
July 30, 2014 -- Repetitive movements on the job, such as the daily work of a sonographer, can trigger tennis elbow. Part 2 of this series presents three exercises sonographers can use to improve stability and strength to alleviate the condition.
MICI Q3: Are radiology administrators getting more optimistic?
July 29, 2014 -- Are things looking up for radiology administrators? That's the tantalizing suggestion from third-quarter data from the Medical Imaging Confidence Index (MICI), a forward-looking barometer of administrator confidence. While the numbers aren't definitive, they do hint at a second consecutive quarter of improving sentiment.
Insurance status affects imaging use for acute stroke
July 29, 2014 -- Patients' insurance status and the socioeconomic factors that may be connected to it influence the type of imaging they receive when they present with acute ischemic stroke, according to a new study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.
ACR urges CMS to cover breast tomosynthesis
July 24, 2014 -- The American College of Radiology (ACR) is urging the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to reimburse providers for the extra cost of digital breast tomosynthesis. Women currently have to pay extra for tomosynthesis out of pocket, despite growing evidence of the technology's superiority over conventional digital mammography.
Radiology: A bellwether for healthcare reform?
July 23, 2014 -- In the Affordable Care Act era, can radiology make the shift from contributing to rising healthcare costs to becoming a guardian of appropriate imaging utilization? That's the proposition in a recent opinion article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association by radiologists from Brigham and Women's Hospital.
General practitioners order more imaging in Australia
July 22, 2014 -- General practitioners in Australia are placing more orders for medical imaging exams, with total orders for imaging growing 45% from 2005 to 2012, according to a survey released this week from the University of Sydney. The numbers also indicate a shift away from general radiography and toward more advanced modalities such as ultrasound, CT, and MRI.
Study finds rads working longer, postponing retirement
July 22, 2014 -- Radiologists say they're working more hours and expect to retire later than they'd prefer, according to a new study published in Academic Radiology. How they handle their exit from the workforce will have major ramifications for future job prospects for radiologists.
Making a Difference as a Sonographer: Tennis elbow, part 1
July 17, 2014 -- Just because you don't play tennis or racket sports doesn't mean you can't come down with tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis. A painful condition caused by overuse, tennis elbow can be triggered by repetitive movements on the job, such as the daily work of a sonographer.
Doctor bonuses do not boost screening compliance
July 15, 2014 -- The Canadian province of Ontario spent almost $110 million ($102 million U.S.) on bonuses intended to motivate family physicians to screen more of their patients for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer, but the program didn't translate into improved screening rates, according to a new study in the Annals of Family Medicine.
Get to know referring physicians to meet their imaging needs
July 14, 2014 -- If you're a radiologist, you know that referring clinicians are your customers, and it's important to keep them happy. What do your referring physicians really want from their radiology reports and interactions with the radiology department? Just ask them, according to researchers from Duke University.
Reducing CT malpractice risk: Simple, but not easy?
July 11, 2014 -- Malpractice risk is part of practicing medicine, and although radiologists are less likely than most physicians to be hit with malpractice claims, radiologists still have a 50% likelihood of being sued by the time they turn 60.
HOPPS 2015 rule would boost breast biopsy payments
July 10, 2014 -- The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released a proposed rule for its 2015 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS), bringing good news to radiology in the form of a 51% increase in payment for breast biopsy procedures.
MRI use linked to patient mortality in Irish study
July 9, 2014 -- A new study of MRI use at a hospital in Ireland paints a complex picture of the modality, with higher in-hospital mortality and longer hospital stays for patients who got MRI scans. However, this could be because the patients were more acutely ill, according to an article in the July Journal of the American College of Radiology.
What kind of after-hours imaging service do ED docs want?
July 9, 2014 -- Emergency department (ED) physicians increasingly want off-hours imaging scans interpreted via final reads from attending radiologists rather than preliminary reads from residents. And more of them are getting their way, according to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
New CMS payment cuts skip imaging to focus on radiation therapy
July 8, 2014 -- The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released proposed payment rates for 2015. The agency's all-powerful gaze skipped over medical imaging to land once again on radiation oncology, which is being targeted for additional payment cuts.
Radiologist pens medical thriller with genre-bending twist
June 25, 2014 -- Radiology residents having sex in the call room. A drug-addicted chief resident and corrupt administrators. Quenching MRI magnets. It's all in a day's work for Doctored Images, a new novel penned by a North Carolina radiologist that features a shocking twist: a radiologist as a crime-fighting good guy.
Special Feature

Leaders in Imaging:
Dr. James Thrall
,
from Massachusetts General Hospital, reflects on 30 years in radiology.
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