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SGR fix in the works as CBO again cuts price tag
December 10, 2013 -- The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced it has again cut its estimate for repealing the sustainable growth rate (SGR). The updated forecast may make it easier for Congress to pass SGR repeal legislation before it adjourns for the year on December 13.
Study shows decline in inpatient imaging utilization
December 5, 2013 -- CHICAGO - If the experience of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston is any indication, inpatient imaging utilization dropped after 2009 following two decades of growth. Researchers found that CT, conventional imaging, and nuclear medicine use declined, while ultrasound and MRI remained stable.
Rapid growth of advanced imaging use is over, study finds
December 5, 2013 -- CHICAGO - Nationwide Medicare data show that rapid growth in the use of advanced imaging in the U.S. has stopped, according to a presentation at RSNA 2013 by Dr. David C. Levin of Thomas Jefferson University.
More than half of Medicare imaging payments made to nonrads
December 4, 2013 -- CHICAGO - Across the U.S., more than 50% of Medicare payments for diagnostic imaging services are made to nonradiologists, suggests new research presented on Tuesday at the RSNA annual meeting.
Patients must know your name, RSNA president urges
December 1, 2013 -- CHICAGO - Patients should be actively encouraged to know the names of their radiologists, and patient-driven care must become a vital part of radiologists' culture, however strange it may seem to them, RSNA 2013 delegates heard during the presidential address at Sunday's opening session.
Not much to be thankful for in final 2014 MPFS, OPPS rules
November 29, 2013 -- There's not a lot for medical imaging to be thankful for in the new Medicare payment rates for 2014. On November 27, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services revealed its estimate of next year's physician payment cut under the sustainable growth rate formula.
RSNA, Regenstrief Institute to collaborate
November 27, 2013 -- RSNA and the Regenstrief Institute have announced a collaboration to standardize radiology procedure names. Under a contract awarded by the U.S. National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, the groups will produce a single unified source of names and codes for radiology procedures.
Spreemo matches employers with radiology services
November 26, 2013 -- As healthcare becomes increasingly focused on evidence-based medicine and patient satisfaction, new firms are cropping up that help patients shop for medical services online. One of them is Spreemo, a start-up that's taking the idea to the workers' compensation market, specifically for radiology services.
Mary's Musings: Teamwork and proper exposure for radiologists
November 18, 2013 -- The theme of the RSNA 2013 meeting is "The Power of Partnership." This has prompted Dr. Mary Morrison Saltz to ponder what the role of partnership means in an era when technology seems to have taken the human element out of much of what radiologists do. Can technology bring the human touch back?
MICI Q4: No hope on the horizon for scanner purchasing
November 14, 2013 -- If you were hoping for good news on a comeback in radiology before this year's RSNA meeting, you may have to wait a little longer. Radiology administrators continue to have a pessimistic outlook for the fourth quarter of 2013, according to new data from the Medical Imaging Confidence Index (MICI).
NEJM: Urologist self-referral equals IMRT overuse
October 24, 2013 -- Allowing urologists to self-refer patients for intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatments contributes to overuse of this expensive therapy, according to new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
How will Obamacare affect academic radiology?
October 17, 2013 -- With the government shutdown behind us, implementation of the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) continues to proceed. Its effects will extend into academic radiology, which can adapt by focusing on value, not volume, according to a review published in the October Academic Radiology.
Nonrads now performing bulk of US-guided procedures
October 14, 2013 -- Radiologists no longer predominate in the performance of ultrasound-guided procedures, which may have implications for the quality of patient care, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
Making a Difference as a Sonographer: Help this person
October 9, 2013 -- In the first article of a new series, cardiac sonographer Doug Wuebben reminds sonographers never to forget the importance of their work and its effects on patients' lives.
Radiologists spend only a third of their time reading images
October 9, 2013 -- Radiologists spend only 36.4% of their time on image interpretation -- which means they spend the bulk of their workday helping referring physicians and patients by performing tasks beyond reading exams, according to a study published in this month's Journal of the American College of Radiology.
JACR: Jobs are out there, but they may not be perfect
October 8, 2013 -- First, the good news: There are available jobs for the 1,200 or so U.S. radiology residents finishing their training. Now the bad news: These jobs may not be the first choice of many residents, according to a study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
Regional variation in imaging not best gauge for policy-making
October 7, 2013 -- Curbing geographic variation in imaging use and costs has been a major target of policy efforts in recent years. But it's unclear whether focusing on these factors is the best way to rein in Medicare spending, according to a new study published online in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
Don't forget technologists when adopting PACS
October 2, 2013 -- Radiologists and referring physicians are obviously crucial constituents for PACS. But radiologic technologists have their own needs and perceptions that should be accommodated to ensure success when implementing PACS, according to a team of Taiwanese researchers.
Radiologists: Reach out to your referring physicians
October 1, 2013 -- Referring physicians asked to rate the usefulness of a set of sample radiology reports gave them relatively high marks, according to a new study published in the October American Journal of Roentgenology. But the referring physicians added that they would like to hear from radiologists more often about important findings.
Mary's Musings: Do radiologists have x-ray vision?
September 24, 2013 -- If you might have cancer, you want a radiologist looking for the disease. But what if you've lost your cellphone? Do radiologists have unique powers of perception that carry over into the nonmedical world? Dr. Mary Morrison Saltz explores this tantalizing question in this installment of Mary's Musings.
ARRS BIS: Sorting fact from fiction in mammography malpractice
September 20, 2013 -- Breast imagers always try to minimize their exposure to medical malpractice, but the real risk of being sued is much lower than most radiologists estimate, according to a talk at this week's American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) Breast Imaging Symposium (BIS) in Phoenix.
CMS: U.S. healthcare spending to rebound after 2014
September 18, 2013 -- Healthcare spending in the U.S. is expected to rebound between 2014 and 2022 to growth rates seen prior to the recent economic slowdown. Rates will be higher than in the recent past but lower compared to longer-term historical growth, according to a report published online September 18 in Health Affairs.

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