Imaging Leaders Digital Community
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.
House introduces yet another SGR patch
March 26, 2014 -- With bipartisan efforts stalled for a permanent repeal of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, two committees in the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced yet another patch that would avert cuts to Medicare reimbursement mandated by the SGR.
JAMA: Nuclear MPI use in Kaiser system falls dramatically
March 25, 2014 -- The use of nuclear myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) dropped by half from 2006 to 2011 within a Kaiser Permanente healthcare system in California, but researchers can't quite point to specific reasons for the decline, according to a study published in the March 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
NCoBC: Breast cancer screening requires difficult choices
March 24, 2014 -- It can be tough to run a breast care center as controversy swirls around the effectiveness of screening mammography. No matter where a facility falls in the debate, putting together a screening program demands hard choices, according to a presentation at the National Consortium of Breast Centers (NCoBC) meeting in Las Vegas.
CMS hones in on CT lung screening questions for advisory meeting
March 24, 2014 -- The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has published additional details about the discussion topics it plans to address in an April 30 advisory committee meeting on reimbursement for CT lung cancer screening.
VA probe clears Fla. health system of whistleblower charges
March 21, 2014 -- An investigation into complaints about medical imaging services at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health system serving northern Florida and southern Georgia has been resolved without any major irregularities discovered, and the VA has closed the case without taking any action.
NCoBC: Technologists have role in breast density education
March 18, 2014 -- Breast tissue density has become a much discussed element of a woman's breast cancer risk. Patients' lack of knowledge about breast density remains a concern, but radiologic technologists may be able to help, according to a talk on Monday at the National Consortium of Breast Centers (NCoBC) meeting in Las Vegas.
MedPAC: Short-term drop in imaging offset by long-term growth
March 14, 2014 -- Imaging volume per Medicare beneficiary decreased by 3.2% from 2011 to 2012, but the use of imaging services has remained much higher than it was a decade ago, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's (MedPAC) annual report to Congress.
SGR repeal effort snagged by partisan politics
March 14, 2014 -- The bipartisan effort to repeal the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula is hitting political obstacles, as Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives move to pass a version of repeal legislation that includes amendments linking the fix to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Imaging Forward: How medical imaging is transforming medicine
March 14, 2014 -- Earlier this month, the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance (MITA) launched Imaging Forward, a campaign to draw awareness to medical imaging's contributions to medicine. In this opinion article, MITA Executive Director Gail Rodriguez, PhD, describes how technology that was once unimaginable is now the standard of care.
ACR, 40 orgs call for Medicare coverage of CT lung screening
March 13, 2014 -- The American College of Radiology (ACR) and 40 other medical organizations and healthcare providers are calling for full Medicare coverage for low-dose CT lung cancer screening.
Radiology's top tweeters: Dr. Geraldine McGinty
March 13, 2014 -- With a Twitter following of more than 1,600, Dr. Geraldine McGinty is a social media force to be reckoned with. As part of our ongoing series on radiologists who tweet, AuntMinnie.com spoke with McGinty, who explained her belief that Twitter can get the word out about radiology's role in delivering quality healthcare.
Nuclear medicine patient survey finds mixed results
March 12, 2014 -- Researchers from Egypt studied patient satisfaction at a nuclear medicine department and found that while the patients were satisfied with the department's infrastructure, they didn't like wait times and how they were informed of their procedures. Changes have already been made in response to the survey.
Dr. Michael Fuchsjäger on radiology jobs in the Middle East
March 8, 2014 -- Dr. Michael Fuchsjäger, from the Medical University of Graz in Austria, discusses the growing employment opportunities for Western radiologists in the Middle East. He also shares his own experience of working and living with his family in the United Arab Emirates, and offers some advice for those considering working in the region.
New radiographers outperform older counterparts at breast positioning
March 7, 2014 -- VIENNA - Older does not connote wiser, at least in the case of breast radiographers. In a surprising study from the Netherlands presented on Thursday at ECR 2014, researchers found that new radiographers performed better than experienced ones in terms of breast positioning.
President's 2015 budget proposal: Political, not practical
March 5, 2014 -- The Obama administration has released its 2015 budget plan, which largely reflects proposals that were included in the 2014 budget and will most likely not affect medical imaging -- for better or for worse, according to the American College of Radiology.
MICI Q1: Reimbursement concerns still dominate
March 4, 2014 -- Concerns over reimbursement continue to weigh heavily on the minds of radiology administrators, according to the latest numbers from the Medical Imaging Confidence Index (MICI). Administrators surveyed for the index's first quarter expressed lower optimism that they would be adequately reimbursed by Medicare.
Controversy embroils Kan. radiologist's U.S. Senate run
February 27, 2014 -- A Kansas radiologist running for U.S. Senate is also running afoul of critics for posting x-rays of fatal gunshot wounds on his personal Facebook page and allegedly joking about the images, according to a report published February 22 in the Topeka Capital-Journal.
Radiology's top tweeters: Dr. Garry Choy
February 25, 2014 -- With more than 5,700 Twitter followers, Dr. Garry Choy has the second-highest following among radiologists on Twitter. As part of our ongoing series on radiologists who tweet, AuntMinnie.com spoke with Choy, who believes social media tools like Twitter are powerful for healthcare professionals.
How many radiology trainees are enough?
February 21, 2014 -- As healthcare reform continues to roll out, radiologists find they are being challenged on all fronts. Not only have radiology procedure volumes slowed, the job market remains tight, making it difficult to determine how many radiologists should be trained going forward.
Imaging looms large on new list of low-value emergency exams
February 19, 2014 -- If one list of unnecessary medical procedures is good, then two lists should be better, right? That could be the thinking behind a new list released this week in JAMA Internal Medicine of unnecessary tests in emergency medicine that are driving up healthcare costs. And the new list takes aim specifically at medical imaging.
Radiology's top tweeters: Dr. Rich Duszak
February 12, 2014 -- If radiology had a dean of Twitter, it would be Dr. Rich Duszak. Known by his nom de tweet @RichDuszak, he has a Twitter following approaching 10,000 -- by far the largest among radiologists. As part of a new series on radiologists and social media, AuntMinnie.com spoke with Duszak about what motivated him to take to Twitter.
Special Feature

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