MICI Q1: Solid floor under rad administrator sentiment

By Brian Casey, AuntMinnie.com staff writer

February 23, 2016 -- A solid footing is undergirding the optimism of radiology administrators regarding their business prospects in the first quarter of 2016, according to the latest figures from the Medical Imaging Confidence Index (MICI).

The index for the current period generally continued a recovery that began eight quarters ago, when MICI (a basket of five leading economic indicators that represent radiology administrator sentiment) hit rock bottom in the first quarter of 2014. Since then, the composite index has witnessed steadily rising scores.

MICI is a forward-looking index designed to provide an early view of trends as they develop. It is based on the responses of imaging directors and hospital managers who are members of the AHRA medical imaging management association. Members of the MICI panel are asked about five key trends typically encountered by radiology administrators and what they expect in these areas in the upcoming quarter. The MICI survey is produced by AHRA and market research firm the MarkeTech Group.

For the first-quarter 2016 data, MICI surveyed 169 participants from across the U.S., with 9% based in the Pacific region, 7% in the Mountain region, 14% in the West North Central region, 21% in the East North Central region, 15% in the Mid-Atlantic region, 15% in the South Atlantic region, 7% in the East South Central region, and 12% in the West South Central region.

Participants were asked to rate their optimism about the five topics, and a single composite score including all five categories also was tabulated. 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

MICI scores for the first quarter of 2016 and their relationship to the eight previous quarters are shown in the following chart and table.

MICI Q1 2016 results

Although the index and several component measures appeared to dip slightly in the first quarter of 2016, the changes were not statistically significant, according to the MarkeTech Group analysts.

MICI scores by topic for Q1 2016
Topic Mean score Interpretation
Internal operating and staff costs will remain constant 132 Very high confidence
Will maintain/grow as a profit center 124 High confidence
Will grow monthly in diagnostic and interventional radiology 114 High confidence
Composite score across all areas 108 Neutral
Will have access to capital for imaging equipment and IT needs 102 Neutral
Will receive adequate reimbursement from Medicare for diagnostic and interventional imaging 71 Low confidence

At the top of the scale, administrators reported that they had the most confidence that their internal operating and staff costs would remain the same, with a score of 132, a trend seen in previous MICI surveys. They were also confident that their departments would remain and/or grow as profit centers, with a score of 124.

At the other end of the scale was confidence in adequate Medicare reimbursement for diagnostic and interventional radiology procedures, with a low confidence score of 71. This countered a trend toward growing (albeit still low) confidence in this MICI metric, although the change from the fourth quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016 was not statistically significant.

As in past surveys, radiologists remained neutral on their confidence in having access to capital for imaging equipment and IT needs, with a score of 102.

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Last Updated np 5/4/2016 2:59:48 PM

28 comments so far ...
2/23/2016 8:48:58 AM
Brian Casey
Please join us starting at 2 pm Eastern time Tuesday February 23 for an AuntMinnie Open Forum in which radiology administrators will discuss the MICI  Q1 numbers and how they reflect their own business operations. This thread will be opened at that time and will be available for your questions.
 
Brian Casey, Editor in Chief, AuntMinnie.com

2/23/2016 11:47:33 AM
Brian Casey
Thanks to everyone for joining our first MICI Open Forum!
 
The goal of this thread is to discuss the first-quarter 2016 numbers in the Medical Imaging Confidence Index (MICI), an ongoing collaboration between AuntMinnie.com, the AHRA, and the MarkeTech Group. MICI is a forward-looking index that measures sentiment of radiology administrators using a basket of important indicators, based on answers to the following questions:
 
  • * Internal operating and staff costs will remain constant
  • * Will maintain/grow as a profit center
  • * Will grow monthly in diagnostic and interventional radiology
  • * Will have access to capital for imaging equipment and IT needs
  • * Will receive adequate reimbursement from Medicare for diagnostic and interventional imaging

Joining us on this thread through the rest of this week are three radiology administrators who will discuss the Q1 MICI numbers and how they reflect what's going on in their facilities:  

  • * Gerald Bedard, Senior Director of Diagnostic Imaging at Grand View Hospital in Sellersville, PA. 
  • * Jose Hernandez, Director of Radiology/Cardiology at Lower Keys Medical Center in Key West, FL 
  • * Craig Mitchell, Director of Medical Imaging, Sleep Lab, and Neurology at St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital in Anderson, IN 
 
The thread is open to everyone's participation, so let's get started! 
 
Brian Casey, Editor in Chief, AuntMinnie.com 
 

2/23/2016 11:55:00 AM
Brian Casey

 
For point of reference, above is a chart indicating the Q1 2016 MICI numbers, compared to the previous 8 quarters. Our full article on the first-quarter numbers is at http://buff.ly/1QwqgJe
 


2/23/2016 12:09:04 PM
Brian Casey
First question for discussion: The numbers seem to indicate a recovery that began in medical imaging starting in the first quarter of 2014. Does that roughly correspond to what you're seeing at your institution?

2/23/2016 12:32:07 PM
EllenMoss
Brian We ciontinue to see volumes that fluctuate +/- 3% on the outpatient side. Inpateints have been up a bit for the past 2 quarters but early on (July, august) the inpateint volume went the way of the Titanic..The odd thing is all of the modalities seem to move in unison..up or down together