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Levin: Radiology groups must retool to fend off telerad firms
January 21, 2014 -- The rise of teleradiology has led to the displacement of many radiology groups from long-standing relationships with hospitals. But it doesn't have to be that way if radiology groups can retool to become more competitive with teleradiology firms, according to Dr. David C. Levin.
Report: CT procedure volume drops 11% over past 2 years
January 16, 2014 -- The number of CT procedures being performed in the U.S. has declined at an average annual rate of 5.5% over the past two years, reversing years of steady growth in volume, according to a new report by market research firm IMV Medical Information Division.
Primary care physicians believe in advanced imaging's value
January 15, 2014 -- For all the beating that medical imaging has taken over the past decade, primary care physicians still value the contributions of advanced imaging technologies such as CT and MRI. In a recent survey, strong majorities agreed that imaging improves clinical decision-making and patient care.
Breast biopsy payment cuts could revive open surgeries
January 13, 2014 -- Could open surgical breast biopsy experience a revival? That could be the outcome if deep Medicare cuts to payments for stereotactic breast biopsy procedures are implemented in 2014, according to women's imaging advocates.
CT utilization data suggest physician ownership plays role
January 9, 2014 -- An analysis of CT utilization data at a large health insurance plan suggests that myriad factors -- including physician ownership of the practice and the government insurance status of the patient -- shape the likelihood that a patient will receive a CT scan.
CMS: Slow growth in U.S. health spending continued in 2012
January 7, 2014 -- The growth rate of U.S. healthcare spending in 2012 remained low for a fourth straight year, at 3.7%, according to a report in the January issue of Health Affairs. The numbers raise questions about whether there has been a permanent shift in U.S. health spending -- or whether spending will bounce back as the economy improves.
Radiologists must engage with Choosing Wisely initiative
December 19, 2013 -- The Choosing Wisely campaign from the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation is now widespread, and because it clearly targets radiology as a specialty whose services are often overused or unnecessary, radiologists must respond, according to a presentation given at the recent RSNA 2013 meeting.
Congress hustles to address SGR problem before end of year
December 13, 2013 -- Legislative action to address the problematic sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula has heated up recently. On Wednesday, December 11, the House added a three-month SGR patch to its version of the budget bill, and on Thursday, House and Senate committees advanced bills that would replace the SGR altogether.
Almost one-third of radiologists' ED services uncompensated
December 12, 2013 -- Almost a third of services provided by radiologists to emergency department (ED) patients are uncompensated, according to researchers from the American College of Radiology's Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute.
Discrepancies trigger Ontario radiology peer-review program
December 11, 2013 -- Formal radiology peer review will be implemented across the province of Ontario after an 18.2% discrepancy rate was uncovered in an external review of images read by Ontario radiologist Dr. Ivo Slezic. The review's findings were released last week by Trillium Health Partners.
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.
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.
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