Payment parity in radiation therapy best serves cancer patients
October 17, 2014 -- Freestanding radiation treatment centers play a vital role in ensuring access to state-of-the-art radiation therapy. But a recent article on AuntMinnie.com about reimbursement rates at these centers provided a misleading picture, according to Dr. Paul Wallner, senior vice president of 21st Century Oncology.
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Hold the phone: Interruptions harm accuracy of residents
October 16, 2014 -- A single additional interruption in the form of a telephone call within an hour of when an on-call resident creates a preliminary report boosts the chances of a significant error in the report by 12%, according to a new study published online in Academic Radiology.
JAMA IM editorials weigh in on lung cancer screening
October 13, 2014 -- With Medicare on the cusp of a momentous decision about whether to pay for CT lung cancer screening, the issue is the focus of a pair of editorials published October 13 in JAMA Internal Medicine. Taking opposite sides, the articles one last time outline positions that have become solidified as the U.S. government weighs what could be one of the biggest public health initiatives in decades.
Study: Overuse of cardiac imaging adds to health costs
October 13, 2014 -- A new study published in Annals of Internal Medicine has concluded that the overuse of cardiac stress testing with medical imaging has contributed to rising healthcare costs.
Social networking no longer optional for radiologists
October 8, 2014 -- Radiologists are certainly busy these days, but they had better find the time to use online social networking services and tools in a professional capacity. Their careers just might depend on it, according to an article published online in Academic Radiology.
Irish radiology department finds it's not easy being green
September 23, 2014 -- A new survey found that radiology staff members at a hospital in Ireland were reluctant to take simple actions that could save thousands of dollars in energy costs. Administrators may therefore need to take more extreme actions, such as programming computers to automatically go into sleep mode overnight, to wring out cost savings.
ASNC: Should nuclear technologists read SPECT MPI scans?
September 22, 2014 -- BOSTON - Nuclear medicine technologists were nearly as accurate as cardiologists in reading stress-first SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) studies, according to research presented at the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) meeting. The study hints at a role for technologists in determining which patients could avoid the rest portion of the scans.
Sandy's silver lining: Hurricane creates impetus for change
September 19, 2014 -- NEW YORK CITY - Hurricane Sandy was a catastrophic event for New York City, but it did have a silver lining for NYU Langone Medical Center's radiology department. With help from informatics, the storm precipitated significant and lasting workflow and quality improvements, according to a Thursday talk at the New York Medical Imaging Informatics Symposium.
ASTRO: Radiation therapy cost analysis suggests inefficiency
September 18, 2014 -- SAN FRANCISCO - A new analysis of radiation therapy costs presented at this week's American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) meeting has found wide variations that aren't related to patient or disease factors. Costs varied between standalone centers and hospital departments -- a variance that has since been flattened by changes in Medicare reimbursement.
Incomplete documentation jeopardizes radiology payments
September 17, 2014 -- Insufficient documentation is behind most improper payments, according to the government agencies responsible for policing Medicare program claims. Those same agencies repeatedly advise healthcare providers that they can avoid errors by complying with documentation requirements, including those in local coverage determinations.