Higher credentials needed to change sonographers' image, pay
April 10, 2013 -- NEW YORK CITY - To many, sonographers are just ultrasound techs -- with their sophisticated skills underappreciated, undervalued, and underpaid. It's important for the profession to work to make changes. This was the wake-up call delivered during a presentation at this week's American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine annual meeting.
JACR: Work efficiencies slim when scans read by different rads
April 10, 2013 -- Little to no physician work efficiencies exist when different providers interpret different imaging scans on the same patient, according to a new study published online April 9 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR).
JACR: MRI use has slowed
April 8, 2013 -- The overall Medicare MRI utilization rate has slowed since 2008, due in part to policymakers' focus on reducing unnecessary healthcare costs -- and radiologists' efforts to educate their colleagues on appropriate imaging use, according to a new study published online in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
Imaging centers hit with surprise 30% cut for MRI codes
April 5, 2013 -- The American Taxpayer Relief Act in January averted the planned 26.5% cut to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, but it didn't prevent reimbursement for two "bread and butter" MRI codes from being slashed by 30%. Some freestanding imaging centers are only now becoming painfully aware of the cut.
RF ablation for elderly NSCLC patients offers cost benefits
April 5, 2013 -- Radiofrequency (RF) ablation is a practical treatment for elderly patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who are poor candidates for surgery, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.
Massive Gamma Knife payment cut starts April 1
April 1, 2013 -- It may seem like an April Fools' Day joke, but it's a painful reality for users of the Gamma Knife radiation therapy system from Elekta. Starting April 1, they will be paid 58% less for procedures performed with the system.
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.