MICI: Rad administrators bearish on Medicare payment rates

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Radiology administrators are confident that in the coming months their facilities will grow and operating and staff costs will remain constant. But they're not as confident about Medicare reimbursement for diagnostic and interventional imaging, according to new 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 July to September 2012, survey participants expressed "very low confidence" that Medicare reimbursement will be sufficient.

For the survey period, 149 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, the report stated.

Survey participants were represented from across the U.S., with 13% in the Pacific region, 9% in the Mountain region, 11% in the West North Central region, 18% in the East North Central region, 12% in the Mid-Atlantic region, 17% in the South Atlantic region, 9% in the East South Central region, and 12% in the West South Central region.

Participants were asked to rate their optimism about five topics. Scores range 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

Results for the five topics are shown below:

MICI survey

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; members come from across the U.S. and represent different hospital sizes and geographic locations, according to the company. The same members are queried with each survey round to ensure consistency of the results over time.

Results reflect national trends because participants are recruited by region and number of beds to reflect known American Hospital Association incidence. Once the final counts are confirmed, MarkeTech performs statistical weighting to ensure the index reflects the U.S. hospital imaging market, the firm said.

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