Imaging Leaders Digital Community
Self-referral prompts unnecessary knee MRI exams
September 17, 2013 -- Knee MRI exams are more likely to be negative if ordered by physicians who have a financial interest in the imaging equipment being used, researchers concluded in a study published online September 17 in Radiology.
CBO: House SGR fix comes with 26% higher price tag
September 16, 2013 -- A bill passed in August out of a U.S. House of Representatives committee that would repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula may soon hit another obstacle as it proceeds on its legislative journey: a higher price tag.
FDA panel mostly likes evidence on CTC efficacy
September 10, 2013 -- In a wide-ranging session on CT colonography (CTC), held in Silver Spring, MD, on Monday, a panel of experts convened by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration delivered almost universally positive views of the evidence supporting the use of the exam for colorectal cancer screening.
FDA sets meeting to review CT colonography
September 6, 2013 -- A virtual who's who of CT colonography (CTC) is en route to the Washington, DC, area for a September 9 joint committee meeting of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that will discuss the fate of CTC screening for asymptomatic individuals.
Proposed Medicare changes could affect breast biopsy
September 6, 2013 -- Add breast biopsy procedures to the list of imaging tests that could be affected by new Medicare physician payment rates scheduled for 2014. Breast care advocates have weighed in against the proposed rates, charging that they could shift breast biopsies away from private-practice sites and into hospital settings.
ABRF: What do patients really want to know before their scan?
September 5, 2013 -- There's a lot of talk about patient safety in medical imaging and managing the risks of medical radiation. Both are important concerns, but are they what patients are most focused on when they undergo an exam? Perhaps not, according to a recent talk at the American Board of Radiology Foundation's (ABRF) national medical imaging summit in Bethesda, MD.
MICI Q3: Medicare outlook still bedevils rad administrators
September 3, 2013 -- Radiology administrators remained deeply concerned about future Medicare reimbursement rates, showing little confidence that they will receive adequate Medicare payments in the third quarter of 2013, according to data from the Medical Imaging Confidence Index (MICI).
Doctors who own MRI scanners order more negative tests
August 29, 2013 -- Physician groups that own their own MRI scanners order more studies -- but the scans are more often negative when compared with physician groups that don't own a scanner. The finding could be a sign of overutilization, according to a new study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.
Start-up takes aim at bias in expert witness testimony
August 29, 2013 -- Radiologists often serve as expert witnesses in medical malpractice trials, passing judgment on the image interpretation skills of their colleagues in a sort of legal second opinion. But who offers second opinions on the second opinions? A new start-up called Clear Review aims to do just that, hoping to take the bias out of expert witness testimony.
Breaking bank: Unruly doctors, residents cost hospitals millions
August 26, 2013 -- Disruptive behavior among clinicians and residents is not only time-consuming and potentially dangerous, it's expensive, with costs per hospital potentially reaching into the millions per year, according to a new report in Academic Radiology.
Check the boxes: Building a dose management program
August 22, 2013 -- There is an increasing amount of discussion, legislation, and litigation surrounding radiation safety. If you think you have a robust dose management program, think again, says Neomi Mullens from Ascendian Healthcare Consulting. In this article, she checks off seven items all organizations should consider.
Appropriateness training may not lead to proper CTPA use
August 19, 2013 -- Providing appropriateness training to emergency department doctors for ordering CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA) exams doesn't necessarily reduce inappropriate use of the test, according to a new study published in the September issue of Academic Radiology. It can even have unintended consequences.
Joint Commission seeks to expand imaging standards
August 15, 2013 -- The U.S. Joint Commission has proposed more-stringent requirements in the ambulatory care, critical access hospital, and hospital accreditation programs for facilities that provide CT, MRI, nuclear medicine, and PET services.
Kwiatkowski pleads guilty in hepatitis C case
August 14, 2013 -- Radiologic technologist David Kwiatkowski has pleaded guilty on charges of infecting patients with hepatitis C by taking the anesthetic fentanyl intended for patients undergoing interventional radiology procedures and diverting it for his own use.
Emergency radiology elective educates on imaging use
August 13, 2013 -- A short emergency radiology elective increases second-year medical students' understanding of appropriate imaging use and the effects of radiation exposure -- as well as their confidence in ordering imaging appropriately, according to a study published in the September issue of Academic Radiology.
AHRA: Strategic planning in the era of accountable care
August 6, 2013 -- How medical imaging is conducted and delivered is changing. To be successful under new quality and payment models for healthcare such as accountable care, radiologists need to be prepared, according to a presentation given at last week's AHRA 2013 meeting in Minneapolis.
Back to the future: Can a 'new capitation' save radiology?
August 2, 2013 -- The growth of healthcare costs is driving reform, with policymakers focused on eliminating unnecessary expenditures, ensuring patient safety, and improving clinical outcomes. But what's the best way to accomplish all this? talked to Dr. Michael Brant-Zawadzki about a new approach that echoes capitation efforts of the past.
Kan. radiologist indicted in $7M Army fraud scheme
August 2, 2013 -- A radiologist and former U.S. Army officer from Kansas has been indicted along with two other individuals on charges of running a contracting scheme that allegedly defrauded the Army of more than $7 million for medical imaging products and services.
Exercises can help sonographers scan without pain
July 26, 2013 -- "I was scared and stressed out," explains sonographer Doug Wuebben. Unsure whether he could continue with his career due to chronic shoulder pain, Wuebben improved after performing some basic movement training exercises, which he shares in this article.
ACR's RLI event helps radiologists become better leaders
July 24, 2013 -- Healthcare is transitioning from a volume to a value proposition, and radiologists must learn new skills to navigate this transition, become better leaders, and thrive under new delivery and payment systems, according to presenters at the American College of Radiology's (ACR) annual Radiology Leadership Institute (RLI) event to be held this week in Illinois.
Misdiagnosis of Alzheimer's can cost big money
July 23, 2013 -- Receiving a misdiagnosis of Alzheimer's disease can result in tens of thousands of dollars in unnecessary medical costs for patients who actually have vascular dementia or Parkinson's disease, according to a study presented on July 17 at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Boston.
Cuts on top of cuts: 2014 Medicare rates slash CT, MR payments
July 22, 2013 -- One of the nuggets found in the recently proposed 2014 Medicare payment rates for hospitals is a change that would slash reimbursement for the technical component of CT and MRI scans by as much as 38% and 19%, respectively.
Special Feature

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