Radiology administrators worried about reimbursement

By Kate Madden Yee, staff writer

January 31, 2013 -- Radiology administrators are confident that their internal costs will remain constant and their practices will maintain or increase growth in the coming months, according to first-quarter 2013 data from the Medical Imaging Confidence Index (MICI). Confidence plummets over Medicare imaging reimbursement, however.

The MICI survey, which is produced by the MarkeTech Group and AHRA, found that when asked about their expectations for the period of January to March 2013, survey participants expressed "very low confidence" that Medicare reimbursement for diagnostic and interventional radiology will be sufficient.

The Web survey for perception of medical imaging trends for the first quarter of 2013 was completed by 163 imaging directors and managers of hospitals. 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 gathered survey participants from across the U.S., with 12% based in the Pacific region, 10% in the Mountain region, 13% in the West North Central region, 16% in the East North Central region, 9% in the Mid-Atlantic region, 16% in the South Atlantic region, 12% in the East South Central region, and 14% 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

Radiology administrator views

The MICI panel is a longitudinal cohort that consists of members of MarkeTech's ImagePro professional community, from which it selects 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.

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Copyright © 2013

Last Updated np 1/30/2013 10:19:39 AM

3 comments so far ...
1/31/2013 8:29:22 AM
One of the unchangeable costs in a radiology department occurs with the long-term (multi-year) service agreements on imaging equipment.  These are signed anticipating that reimbursements and volumes are going to remain constant for the life of the 5 or 7 year contract.  When volumes or reimbursements decline, the fixed costs of the contracts become a real burden to the hospital.  As an experienced clinical engineer, and an AHRA member and presenter, I would be happy to speak with anyone who needs help deciding on a path and next steps for becoming more independent in your equipment service arrangements.  Pat Lynch 704-941-0116 [][/email]

1/31/2013 8:34:50 AM
   Perhaps you should put up a link to your linkedin profile.  That way we know you are legit.  

1/31/2013 9:01:09 AM