Admins hopeful about profit growth; Medicare, not so much

By Kate Madden Yee, staff writer

November 8, 2012 -- Radiology administrators are optimistic that in the coming months their facilities will grow and operating and staff costs will remain constant. But they remain less confident about Medicare reimbursement for diagnostic and interventional imaging, according to fourth-quarter 2012 data from the Medical Imaging Confidence Index (MICI).

The MICI survey, which is produced by the MarkeTech Group and AHRA, found that when asked about their expectations for the period of October to December 2012, survey participants expressed "low confidence" that Medicare reimbursement will be sufficient.

For this time frame, 143 imaging directors and managers of hospitals completed a Web survey regarding their perception of medical imaging trends. Of the facilities represented in the survey, 46% were hospitals with fewer than 100 beds, 35% had between 100 and 299 beds, and 19% had 300 or more beds, according to MICI.

MICI culled its survey participants from across the U.S., with 13% in the Pacific region, 9% in the Mountain region, 12% in the West North Central region, 18% in the East North Central region, 13% in the Mid-Atlantic region, 17% in the South Atlantic region, 9% in the East South Central region, and 9% in the West South Central region.

Participants were asked to rate their optimism about five topics, shown in the image below. Scores ranged from 0 to 200 and can be interpreted as follows:

  • < 50 = extremely low confidence
  • 50 to 69 = very low confidence
  • 70 to 89 = low confidence
  • 90 to 110 = an ambivalent score (neutral)
  • 111 to 130 = high confidence
  • 131 to 150 = very high confidence
  • > 150 = extremely high confidence

The MICI panel is a longitudinal cohort that consists of members of MarkeTech's ImagePro professional community, from which it culls radiology administrators to participate in studies. ImagePro members come from across the U.S. and represent different hospital sizes and geographic locations. The same members are queried with each survey round to ensure consistency of the results over time.

The report results reflect national trends because participants are recruited by region and number of beds to reflect known American Hospital Association incidence, according to the MarkeTech Group and AHRA. Once the final counts are confirmed, MarkeTech performs statistical weighting to ensure the index reflects the U.S. hospital imaging market, the two firms said.

Copyright © 2012

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