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.