As the healthcare industry increasingly adopts new accountable care payment models, providers must determine the most cost-effective ways to deliver quality patient care. In the case of radiologists, that means improving communication with fellow doctors and cutting back on unnecessary imaging as reimbursement dollars will be handed out based, not on the volume of patient tests conducted, but the sustained good health of those patients.
To that end, the evolution of picture archiving and communication systems is crucial. Special Report
The introduction of mammography and colonoscopy back in the 1960s helped introduce an "age of wonder" for cancer screening that correlated with a significant drop in mortality rates, according to Cary Gross, M.D., of Yale Medical School. Conversely, according to Gross, the 21st Century has launched a new age of wonder in the sense that people are now wondering how beneficial cancer screening actually is.
"Our sense of wonder has evolved into a sense of skepticism," Gross writes in an Aug. 18 commentary in JAMA Internal Medicine. "Now we wonder whether screening tests are helping or hurting our patients. We wonder what harm we may have caused through broad marketing campaigns that strongly promoted screening. We wonder whether we are getting the right message to our patients, and we wonder what that message is supposed to say."
Here, Gross is particularly concerned about screening strategies for older persons. Read more...
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Women whose screening mammograms result in false positives have an increased risk of later developing breast cancer, although the reasons behind this phenomenon remain unknown, according to a study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology.
The medical imaging technology industry in Washington state is responsible for $3.1 billion in economic activity and supports more than 12,000 jobs, according to a report commissioned by the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance.
An abbreviated MRI screening protocol for breast cancer results in an exam that takes just three minutes, is just as good as a regular MRI that takes an average of 21 minutes and is more accurate than digital mammography, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
With all of the delays, it seems like we've been waiting forever for ICD-10. But it now seems clear: Oct. 1, 2015, will be the day it takes effect. And it's probably not a bad idea for radiologists to again reflect on the impact the coding shift will have on radiology.
Medical imaging managers and directors continue to have low confidence that they will be adequately reimbursed by Medicare for diagnostic and interventional imaging services.
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Texas hospitals are already under financial pressure due to the Lone Star State's steadfast refusal to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, and now they face yet another pressure point: urgent care centers.
The Great Recession may be over and the Affordable Care Act may be delivering millions of more patients, but hospitals are apparently still waiting for those bits of good fortune to make a difference to their bottom lines.