Imaging Leaders Digital Community
CMS launches public comment period for CT lung screening
February 11, 2014 -- In another move toward Medicare payment for CT lung cancer screening, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on February 10 opened up a 30-day public comment period regarding a proposal to make CT screening for high-risk individuals one of Medicare's covered preventive services.
JACR: Study confirms slowdown in CT use among private payors
February 10, 2014 -- The use of CT has increased over the past 15 years faster than other forms of imaging, leading to concerns about overuse and radiation exposure. But since 2009, CT's growth rate has slowed among privately insured patients, according to a study in the February issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
Are you ready to comply with new radiation safety rules?
February 6, 2014 -- Radiation safety is no longer just a legal issue for imaging facilities in states such as California and Texas that have adopted new radiation reporting laws. With the publication of new diagnostic imaging standards by the Joint Commission, all imaging sites soon will have to comply with dose reporting. Are you ready?
Study renews call for less frequent breast cancer screening
February 4, 2014 -- The U.S. could save billions of dollars each year by offering breast cancer screening to women every two years rather than on an annual basis, according to a study in the February 4 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. But mammography proponents are already stepping up to dispute the study's findings.
Arab Health: UAE technologists find roles transformed
January 29, 2014 -- DUBAI - Not long ago, being a radiographer/radiologic technologist meant being an x-ray technician with limited responsibilities. But technology, demographics, and the rapidly evolving needs of the imaging department have changed the picture globally -- and especially in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Rad interactions with referring docs boost outpatient volumes
January 28, 2014 -- When radiologists get involved in direct sales and marketing efforts to referring physicians, it can have a significant positive effect on referral patterns, according to research presented at the recent RSNA 2013 meeting.
Making a Difference as a Sonographer: Shoulder and neck pain
January 24, 2014 -- In a new article from cardiac sonographer Doug Wuebben, he offers three simple exercises to reduce shoulder and neck pain in sonographers -- or anyone who spends too much time hunched over a desk.
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.
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.
Special Feature

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