Outpatient imaging to remain healthy; Joint Commission streamlines standards

Dear AuntMinnie Member,

Thanks to steady growth in the demand for diagnostic imaging services, the outpatient imaging market is expected to remain healthy for at least the next five years. But the competitive environment remains complex, according to M. Shane Foreman, a principal with consulting firm 3d Health of Chicago.

Higher imaging volume and rising costs will continue to drive both government and private payors to be more aggressive about managing costs. With reimbursement changes in the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) quashing any payment advantage for imaging centers, hospitals will be motivated to open and operate more outpatient imaging centers, in part by establishing partnerships with radiology groups, Foreman said.

To succeed in today's market, outpatient imaging providers will need to prove their value, offering transparency in their fees and more customer-oriented and value-based services for patients and physicians, according to Foreman.

Foreman shared his outpatient imaging projections during a presentation at the recent American Healthcare Radiology Administrators (AHRA) annual meeting in Denver. Click here for staff writer Cynthia Keen's coverage of his talk, or you can also find the story in AuntMinnie.com's Imaging Center Digital Community.

Streamlined Joint Commission standards

In another story we're featuring in the community, staff writer Kate Madden Yee takes a close look at the Joint Commission's new streamlined ambulatory standards.

The good news is that the Joint Commission decided not to add any new standards to its ambulatory accreditation protocol, focusing instead on making existing requirements easier to understand and locate in the manual. As part of this streamlining effort, the manual's nine chapters have been consolidated into five new chapters, according to Joint Commission representatives.

Get the whole story on the new standards by clicking here, or visit the Imaging Center Digital Community at imagingcenter.auntminnie.com.

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