Imaging Leaders Digital Community
Who should do your radiology billing?
July 12, 2013 -- When it comes to medical billing, there are two options: in-house billing and outsourced billing. The question is which one is right for your specific radiology group. With reimbursement shrinking, radiologists must weigh the pros and cons of both options.
ARA keeps hospitals, radiology groups working together
July 12, 2013 -- The advent of teleradiology has changed the way radiology is practiced, disrupting the exclusive business arrangements between hospitals and their radiology groups and opening the market to competition. A new consulting firm called Accountable Radiology Advisors (ARA) hopes to help groups make the transition to the new reality.
2014 MPFS, HOPPS proposals are a mixed bag
July 10, 2013 -- Proposed new Medicare payment rates for 2014 were released on July 8 by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and they're a mixed bag for providers of imaging services. The agency has continued to cut reimbursement for most imaging procedures, but at a lower rate than in the past.
Radiologists should be gatekeepers, not service providers
July 8, 2013 -- If medical imaging is as ubiquitous as water, can U.S. radiologists still expect to command the price of diamonds? No, according to Dr. Saurabh Jha, who in the New England Journal of Medicine advises radiologists to manage the decline in imaging by taking on the role of gatekeeper in restricting inappropriate utilization.
CMS again withholds endorsement of PET beta-amyloid imaging
July 3, 2013 -- For the second time this year, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has stopped short of fully endorsing PET beta-amyloid imaging for Medicare beneficiaries with dementia or neurodegenerative disease.
JACR: Medicare imaging utilization shows steady decline
July 3, 2013 -- Utilization rates and spending for medical imaging in the Medicare program have continued a steady downward trend that began in 2003, bucking widespread assumptions that both would continue to rise, according to a report published in the July issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
As payment models change, imaging must focus on 4 key priorities
June 28, 2013 -- Radiology has a central role in healthcare: It makes up 7.5% of U.S. healthcare expenditures and 14% of Medicare's Part B spending, with direct costs for radiology totaling $175 billion per year. So as healthcare delivery and payment systems shift, radiologists are challenged to operate within a different framework.
NH report slams Exeter Hospital procedures in hepatitis C outbreak
June 27, 2013 -- In an official report, state health authorities in New Hampshire say that officials and staff at Exeter Hospital had lax procedures and missed multiple warning signs in the case of a cardiac cath lab technologist who infected dozens of patients with hepatitis C as part of an alleged drug diversion scheme.
AJR: Virtual colonoscopy's time has come
June 27, 2013 -- Virtual colonoscopy researchers have served up all the evidence the U.S. government asked for, and as a result they've concluded the time is now for approval of the technique to screen for colorectal cancer, according to an article published in the July American Journal of Roentgenology.
Patient factors, not doctors, affect emergency imaging
June 25, 2013 -- Little of the geographic variations in emergency department imaging use can be attributed to physician characteristics such as experience, training, or gender, according to a new study published online in Radiology. In fact, variations in imaging use have more to do with patients.
JACR: Proposed Medicare cuts threaten radiology training
June 14, 2013 -- Just as healthcare reform is increasing the need for new skills to be incorporated into graduate medical education curricula, Medicare budget cuts threaten to undercut the federal support that covers most of the cost of medical residencies, according to a new article in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
Mary's Musings: Why the world of radiology still belongs to men
June 13, 2013 -- Some recent articles have suggested the existence of a gender gap in pay for radiologists. In my experience, I've never made as much as my male colleagues -- and that's OK with me. Why? Let me tell you a story of not so long ago.
CMS bends on oncology PET coverage, will pay for 3 scans
June 12, 2013 -- In a victory for PET proponents, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Tuesday issued a final decision on coverage of oncology FDG-PET scans, agreeing to pay for three follow-up studies rather than just one, as it had proposed three months ago.
Obamacare's effect on radiology: Big, but gradual
June 4, 2013 -- Obamacare is expected to have far-reaching effects on radiology and the rest of the healthcare delivery system, but the changes for providers are expected to be gradual, as the traditional fee-for-service structure is retained at most facilities.
New ACR award recognizes excellence in radiology
May 31, 2013 -- You've heard all about the need for quality and excellence in radiology, but the concept means different things to different people. The American College of Radiology (ACR) is hoping to clarify what quality means with its Diagnostic Imaging Centers of Excellence award, given for the first time earlier this month to two radiology facilities.
Confusion over radiation risk could lead to inappropriate exams
May 29, 2013 -- When radiologists have access to radiation exposure histories for patients, most will take them into consideration when assessing the risk of further exposure in future imaging exams, according to a new study published in the June issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology. But should they?
Imaging groups urge CMS not to adopt FDG-PET scan limitations
May 28, 2013 -- Radiology, nuclear medicine, and neuroradiology organizations are anxiously awaiting a decision from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that would finalize its proposal to limit FDG-PET coverage to one nationally covered scan.
RBMA: To thrive, imaging groups must dare to be different
May 23, 2013 -- Radiology practices face serious challenges in their efforts to be the preferred imaging choice in their markets, especially because the field is so crowded, according to a May 22 presentation at the Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) meeting in Colorado Springs, CO. The key to survival? Truly distinguishing your group from other providers.
SalaryScan data reveal gender gap between U.S. radiologists
May 22, 2013 -- Male radiologists make an average of 20% more than female radiologists in the U.S., according to new salary data from AuntMinnie.com. While the salary advantage for men is in line with the U.S. average for all professions, it could reinforce the perception that radiology is an unfriendly career choice for women.
RBMA: How to restructure your imaging center
May 21, 2013 -- At no other time in history has there been such rapid change in healthcare -- particularly in radiology, according to a May 21 talk at the Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) meeting. To thrive in such an environment, imaging centers need to understand the options for restructuring their business.
Key to clinician interaction? Location, location, location
May 16, 2013 -- Want more personal interaction with your referring physicians? Try moving your reading rooms out of the basement and into clinical areas. A new study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology found that such "embedded" reading rooms resulted in a big jump in personal visits from clinicians.
Health Affairs: Cancer patients face higher bankruptcy risk
May 15, 2013 -- Individuals diagnosed with cancer are at least 2.5 times more likely to declare bankruptcy than those without cancer, according to a study of patients in Washington state published online May 15 in Health Affairs.
Special Feature

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