Radiology administrators are showing few signs of pessimism, if the most recent numbers in the Medical Imaging Confidence Index (MICI) are any indication. New MICI numbers for the second quarter of 2016 reflect continued optimism from administrators regarding their future business prospects.
The new Q2 numbers indicate that the long recovery in administrator sentiment will continue through the next three months. The composite index bottomed out in the first quarter of 2014 but has been on a long recovery since then.
Derived from survey responses of imaging directors and hospital managers who are members of AHRA, MICI is a forward-looking index designed to be a barometer of trends in radiology as they develop. MICI panel members answer a survey with questions about five key trends faced by radiology administrators and what the members expect in these areas in the upcoming quarter. The MICI survey is produced by AHRA and market research firm the MarkeTech Group.
For the second-quarter results, MICI gathered data from 161 survey participants from across the U.S., with 9% based in the Pacific region, 6% in the Mountain region, 14% in the West North Central region, 20% in the East North Central region, 16% in the Mid-Atlantic region, 15% in the South Atlantic region, 8% 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 was also 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 second quarter of 2016 and their relationship to the eight previous quarters are shown in the following chart and table.
With respect to scores for individual components of the index, administrators reported they had the most confidence that their internal operating and staff costs will remain constant, with a mean score of 129. Next was their confidence that their facility will maintain/grow as a profit center, with a score of 128.
Farther down was their optimism regarding their facility's ability to grow monthly in diagnostic and interventional imaging, with a score of 113. Other scores are listed in the table below.
|MICI Q2 scores by topic
|Internal operating and staff costs will remain constant
|Will maintain/grow as a profit center
|Will grow monthly in diagnostic and interventional imaging
|Will have access to capital for imaging equipment and IT needs
|Will receive adequate reimbursement from Medicare for diagnostic and interventional imaging
|Composite score across all areas
Administrators were mostly neutral on their outlook for accessing capital for imaging equipment and IT needs, with a score of 104.