What policymakers and payors want from radiology departments is not volume, but value. If radiologists can help hospitals contain costs, improve quality, and increase market share, then these radiology providers will be well positioned to carry their hospitals—and themselves—into the era of quality- and performance-based pay.
With cost containment driving many health-care decisions, the temptation exists for hospital executives to judge a service line on speed and efficiency (and to overlook quality). In a service line such as radiology—for which accuracy is not easily assessed and quality measurements are not consistently reported—the inclination might be even stronger.
Today’s radiology dashboards let you know how your department or practice is running. They chart patient flow; report-turnaround times; critical-results reporting; and dozens of other data points that reflect cost, efficiency, productivity, and (sometimes) effectiveness. One of the primary goals of these dashboards is to support quality improvement, as CMS and other payors begin to link payment to performance—and to define performance using quality measurements.
Standardization in radiology can take a dozen different paths, and it is clearly complex—but why is there a need for standardization in the first place? Debra L. Monticciolo, MD, FACR, is vice chair for research at Scott & White Healthcare (Temple, Texas), a nonprofit health system. She is a professor of radiology at the allied Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and is a subspecialist in mammography. Monticciolo is chair of the ACR® Commission on Quality and Safety. Of course, quality and safety are among the primary reasons that standardization is a talking point for so many who hold stakes in radiology’s future.
When Rex Healthcare (Raleigh, North Carolina) went shopping for a cardiology image-management solution, it was looking for three things: good vendor support, the ability for cardiologists to access prior studies from the radiology PACS, and a willing development partner to grow with as it built an employed cardiology practice and a new heart
In the 1990s, it was easy to be a success. You had to work hard not to be a success. That’s not true any more,” according to Michael P. Recht, MD, Louis Marx professor of radiology at New York University School of Medicine and chair of the radiology department at NYU Langone Medical Center (New York, New York).
Patient engagement in health care (or patient-centered communication, as it’s often called) has been compared to marriage, where the relationship between care seeker and caregiver is based on trust, respect, openness, and empowerment.
The deftness of data movement between sites creates a deception that it’s easy; it’s not. Leaving aside technical problems with integration, servers, and storage, the more central problem might be this: Who pays the bill to set image exchange in motion?
After a six-month period of collecting baseline data, the CMS Medicare Imaging Demonstration began on April 1, 2012. The imaging industry is watching this test closely. If the two-year demonstration shows that a computerized decision-support system can guide referring physicians to make appropriate orders for advanced imaging tests—and, at the same
Buy a banana, and it will cost you less than a dollar per pound—unless you’re in a hotel, where it might cost you twice the grocery-store price. The prices of many items readily obtainable by the consumer usually fall within a well-defined range, according to supply and demand. This is not so in health care (in general) and in medical imaging