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Radiologists lead effort to clear confusion over screening
May 23, 2014 -- A group of radiologists in New York took it upon themselves to clear up confusion about cancer screening tests, holding a series of educational presentations before small lay-public audiences. They found the talks to be well-received, according to results published online in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
CT lung screening would cost Medicare $10B, study finds
May 23, 2014 -- A new model-based study of National Lung Screening Trial results predicts that implementing CT lung cancer screening in the Medicare population will identify more cancers -- and at earlier, curable stages -- but the costs to Medicare will be substantial.
Top 10 social media tips for radiologists
May 20, 2014 -- More now than ever before, radiologists need to become visible to patients. A strong social media presence is a vital component of a strategy to facilitate patient-centered care, according to Dr. Safwan Halabi of Henry Ford Health System, who provided 10 tips for social media engagement.
Study tracks ebb and flow of imaging use in private sector
May 20, 2014 -- Use of advanced diagnostic imaging fell in 2009, but it rebounded in most modalities in the two years that followed, according to a new analysis of privately insured patients that was published online in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
Echo screening cost-effective after childhood chemo
May 19, 2014 -- Young cancer patients treated with chemotherapy can be screened cost-effectively throughout their adult lives with echocardiography to help them live longer, according to a pair of just-released studies in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Frequent interruptions bedevil on-call radiologists
May 15, 2014 -- On-call radiologists are constantly interrupted by phone calls and other requests, to such a degree that these interruptions could be distracting them from their primary job of interpreting images, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
Outpatient echo code bundling has unintended effects
May 15, 2014 -- When Medicare began code bundling for echocardiography scans in 2009, the move produced a sharp drop in outpatient claims from cardiologists -- which was expected. But the success of code bundling could have unintended effects for both echocardiography and other imaging exams, according to a study in the May Journal of the American College of Radiology.
JAMA IM: Imaging lands high on list of low-value procedures
May 13, 2014 -- A new list of 26 low-value medical procedures published in JAMA Internal Medicine includes a dozen imaging exams. The exams -- defined as procedures that cost a lot of money without yielding significant benefits -- could be costing Medicare as much as $8.5 billion a year, according to the authors.
CT lung screening meeting: A travesty of public health policy
May 8, 2014 -- In retrospect, last week's negative vote by a Medicare panel against CT lung cancer screening is perhaps no surprise given the various conflicts of interest found among many members of the panel, according to Dr. Frederic W. Grannis Jr. Grannis attended the meeting and said he was stunned by the experience.
ARRS: Do patients really want to talk to radiologists?
May 6, 2014 -- SAN DIEGO - As a specialty, radiology is fighting to become more visible, and one solution is for radiologists to communicate exam results directly to patients. But is this really what patients want? That question was explored at this week's American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) annual meeting.
Medicare panel raises doubts about CT lung cancer screening
May 1, 2014 -- Members of a Medicare advisory panel expressed a range of doubts about the benefits of CT lung cancer screening in a meeting on April 30 in Baltimore, giving screening low confidence scores. The question now becomes how the mostly negative panel meeting will shape the debate about Medicare reimbursement over the next six months.
MEDCAC panel shows low confidence in CT lung screening
April 30, 2014 -- CT lung cancer screening for high-risk individuals in the Medicare program received a vote of low confidence by a panel of medical experts meeting in Baltimore today. The vote seriously weakens the case for establishing Medicare payment for low-dose CT lung cancer screening.
Radiologists hit hard by CT code bundling
April 29, 2014 -- When reimbursement codes for CT of the abdomen and pelvis were bundled in 2011, there was a dramatic 29% reduction in imaging payments for these procedures, according to a study in the May American Journal of Roentgenology. Radiologists were the most affected, concluded Dr. David C. Levin and colleagues from Thomas Jefferson University.
CAR: Canadian radiologists should champion appropriate imaging
April 29, 2014 -- MONTREAL - Championing a cause such as appropriateness in imaging is a way for Canadian radiologists to improve their visibility as a profession, as well as protect their turf, said the immediate past president of the Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR) at the society's annual meeting last week.
Radiology's top tweeters: Dr. James Rawson
April 25, 2014 -- Our series on the top tweeters in radiology continues with a profile of Dr. James Rawson, also known on Twitter as @Jim_Rawson_MD. With nearly 1,600 followers, Rawson ranks in radiology's top five -- although if you ask him about it, he might not care, as securing a rabid following isn't his goal in the social media world.
GAO releases report on effect of imaging accreditation
April 25, 2014 -- The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and various congressional committees outlining the impact that Medicare imaging accreditation has had on access to advanced diagnostic imaging. The bottom line? It's not clear.
Ga. technologist gets jail time for entering false mammo records
April 15, 2014 -- A radiologic technologist in Georgia accused of marking nearly 1,300 mammograms as normal when they were never interpreted by a radiologist today pleaded guilty in the case and has received a sentence of at least five months in jail.
Researchers turn to technologists for better clinical histories
April 11, 2014 -- Researchers from Ohio were able to dramatically improve the clinical histories submitted with patient images by turning to radiologic technologists, who provided far more detailed -- and useful -- histories than referring physicians. The researchers believe the more complete histories will lead to better image interpretation.
Is there a silver lining to the 2014 SGR patch?
April 10, 2014 -- The latest effort to avert cuts to Medicare physician payments mandated by the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula may be another in a long line of temporary fixes, but it also represents a victory for radiology, with language mandating the use of appropriateness criteria, transparency around payment policy, and radiation dose management.
Radiology ranks No. 7 of Medicare highest-paid specialties
April 10, 2014 -- Well, it could have been worse. Radiology ranked seventh of the top 10 medical specialties that received the most in Medicare payments in 2012, based on data released April 9 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Mary's Musings: Radiologists must rule professional evaluation
April 7, 2014 -- Physician performance evaluation is moving from a nice-to-have option to a necessity, thanks to Joint Commission rules being adopted across the U.S. Dr. Mary Morrison Saltz believes this is a good time for radiologists to take control of the evaluation process -- before someone does it for them.
Long-term fix dead, Senate passes 1-year SGR patch
April 1, 2014 -- With hopes dashed for a permanent fix, on March 31 the U.S. Senate, by a vote of 64 to 35, cleared legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives to implement a 12-month patch to stave off cuts mandated by the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, set to go into effect April 1.
Special Feature

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