Imaging Leaders Digital Community
New Texas radiation rule takes effect May 1
March 28, 2013 -- Hoping to avoid the rash of radiation overexposures that shook California radiology like an earthquake a few years back, the state of Texas has decided to implement its own radiation exposure rule beginning May 1.
NCBC: Breast centers must reach out to survive
March 25, 2013 -- How can breast centers navigate the shifting landscape of healthcare reform, reimbursement pressure, and evidence-based medicine? By reaching out to form patient care teams with other providers and tracking performance, according to a March 24 talk at the National Consortium of Breast Centers (NCBC) meeting in Las Vegas.
Managing CT dose is feasible, with a little help from friends
March 22, 2013 -- In light of heightened public awareness about the need to lower CT radiation dose, more radiology practices are tackling the issue. They can learn from the example of a community hospital in Connecticut, which implemented a successful dose reduction program as described in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
MedPAC: Imaging volume drops, but long-term growth is high
March 15, 2013 -- Imaging volume per Medicare beneficiary fell by 1% from 2010 to 2011, but the decline represents just a small part of the overall rapid growth of imaging procedures over the past decade, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's (MedPAC) annual report to Congress.
CMS to loosen strings on oncology PET payments
March 14, 2013 -- In a move that should make PET reimbursement easier for most oncology applications, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) this week proposed removing its longstanding requirement that FDG-PET scans of patients with solid tumors be reported to a national data registry.
ONC chief Mostashari believes data can fix U.S. healthcare
March 14, 2013 -- Intelligent use of data can fix a broken healthcare system, said Dr. Farzad Mostashari, national coordinator for health IT within the U.S. Office of the National Coordinator (ONC). Mostashari delivered the final keynote address of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society meeting last week in New Orleans.
Carville, Rove share competing visions for U.S. healthcare
March 13, 2013 -- As might be expected, political consultants James Carville and Karl Rove found little to agree on during a debate at last week's Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) meeting. However, they did offer an intelligent and surprisingly civil discussion that illuminated the U.S. healthcare dilemma.
High-field MRI exposure linked to techs' depression
March 11, 2013 -- VIENNA - As MRI continues to advance to greater magnet strengths to uncover mysteries in the body, researchers warned on Monday at ECR 2013 that constant exposure to high-field systems could lead to psychological problems such as clinical depression among MRI technologists.
HIMSS: Mobile devices raise thorny legal issues in healthcare
March 7, 2013 -- NEW ORLEANS - The use of mobile devices in healthcare environments offers unique security challenges, and institutions must implement and -- most importantly -- enforce policies regarding their use to mitigate legal risk, according to a Wednesday presentation at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) meeting.
JAMA: Physicians do not discuss CT risks with most patients
March 4, 2013 -- Physicians rarely communicated the risks of CT scans to patients before ordering the exams in a population of older male patients at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital, according to survey results published on March 4 in a research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Sequestration will translate into 2% cut for Medicare fees
March 1, 2013 -- A 2% cut in Medicare fees to healthcare providers is poised to go into effect tonight if President Barack Obama and Congress fail to broker a deal that will avert $85 billion in automatic budget cuts required under the sequestration deficit reduction law passed in August 2012.
How to get a good deal in payor contract negotiations
February 28, 2013 -- When a radiology group is about to enter negotiations with a commercial insurance payor, what's the first thing it should concentrate on? If the group focuses myopically on rates for imaging services, it might end up getting shortchanged, according to John Stiles of HealthPro Medical Billing, who offers a better approach.
Sonography students level claims against Ill. program
February 27, 2013 -- Five students enrolled in the sonography program at the College of DuPage in the Chicago suburb of Glen Ellyn, IL, have publicly charged the program's leaders with unethical conduct, including a claim that the program issued grades for a course that allegedly was never held.
MGH's Thrall reflects on 30 years in radiology
February 26, 2013 -- On February 1, Dr. James Thrall stepped down as chairman of the department of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), ending a 30-year career as one of the leading figures in radiology. In this exclusive article, Dr. Thrall reflects on the changes he's seen over the past 30 years in medical imaging.
ACR takes aim at 'inaccuracies' in Time healthcare article
February 25, 2013 -- The American College of Radiology (ACR) has come out swinging in response to an article on healthcare costs published online February 20 in Time magazine that charges ACR with obstructing efforts to discourage overuse of advanced imaging in the Medicare program.
Expert offers tips for efficient cardiac MRI throughput
February 25, 2013 -- Is your cardiac MRI scanner a $2 million patient gurney? It might be if you're not effectively using every available moment to prepare and scan patients, eliminating downtime between exams, according to a presentation at the recent Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance meeting.
Rads have right, duty to report findings directly to patients
February 22, 2013 -- Radiologists have not only the right but a duty to communicate findings directly to patients who are interested in knowing their diagnostic results, according to a clinical perspective published in the March issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.
Neiman Institute issues guidelines to define repeat imaging
February 20, 2013 -- What does "repeat imaging" mean? While wasteful duplicate exams might be your first thought, some repeat imaging exams might actually be medically necessary, according to a new report from the American College of Radiology's Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute that tries to clarify the concept.
Judge says ARRT could be liable in Kwiatkowski case
February 13, 2013 -- A New Hampshire superior court judge has denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought against the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) in the case of radiologic technologist David Kwiatkowski, who allegedly infected patients at Exeter Hospital with hepatitis C.
Save On Medical helps patients shop imaging exams
February 8, 2013 -- For decades, healthcare has remained outside of the consumer business model. But as costs shift to patients, consumers are making healthcare decisions the same as they make other purchases in their lives: with price looming large. Save On Medical hopes to facilitate this process by offering price comparisons for imaging services.
How to take action against radiology threats: Part 2
February 7, 2013 -- In this two-part series, Dr. David C. Levin and Dr. Vijay Rao from Thomas Jefferson University outline actions that radiologists can take to address threats to the specialty. In part 2, Levin provides eight steps that radiologists can take to protect themselves.
Mary's Musings: Is the private-practice radiologist extinct?
February 4, 2013 -- Back when I finished training, most really strong residents went out and sought the best private-practice opportunities -- good groups with a sure path to partnership. Sure, money was part of it, but community and a feeling of belonging were also strong drivers. Yet, with larger groups and a changing culture, how are things today?
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