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Healthcare Economics & Policy

 

Hoping to gain fresh insight into imaging utilization trends, researchers used the Neiman Imaging Types of Service (NITOS) coding system to study Medicare B Physician Fee Schedule billing data from 1994 to 2013, publishing their results in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

CMS published the 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Final Rule in November, leaving healthcare providers with a lot to think about before the holiday season. Tom Greeson, a healthcare lawyer and partner with the firm of Reed Smith, spoke with Radiology Business about what radiologists and radiology practices need to know about the final rule as they make plans for 2018 and beyond.

How to Help Your Practice Make Objective, Informed Decisions on a Tight Budget  

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Oct. 27 reminder that thermography is not an acceptable substitute for mammography.

If the past predicts the future, then radiology isn’t going to fare especially well in the MACRA era. Under Medicare’s last pay-for-reporting program, the Physician Quality and Reporting System (PQRS), most radiologists only minimally showed their work, researchers have found. Those who deal the same way with MACRA—the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act—are setting themselves up for punitive payment adjustments.

 

Recent Headlines

Radiologist sentenced to jail time for fraud

Jean-Francois H. Geschwind, MD, a radiologist who previously worked at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, has been sentenced to a year and a day in jail after pleading guilty to four counts of mail fraud back in July. He was also ordered to pay more than $580,000 in restitution.

MEDNAX acquires Connecticut-based Jefferson Radiology

MEDNAX announced Thursday it has acquired Hartford, Conn.-based Jefferson Radiology and Jefferson Imaging Associates. It was a cash transaction, and no other terms of the deal were made public.

What radiologists can learn from reviewing malpractice claims data

Interpretation errors and communication failures are two of the largest issues that lead to malpractice claims in radiology, according to new research published in Diagnosis. Understanding ways to improve in these areas can help specialists “play a vital role in facilitating optimal patient care.”

Does R&D for cancer drugs cost less than industry-backed estimates?

The Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development estimates it costs $2.7 billion to bring a drug into market, taking into consideration research and development (R&D) expenditures by pharmaceutical companies. One of the main justifications for high drug prices is the substantial R&D costs to bring drugs to American consumers—but does it really cost that much?

Anthem policy pushes outpatient imaging out of hospitals

Anthem made headlines this summer by pulling back from several Obamacare exchange programs, but that’s not the insurance giant’s only big policy change of 2017. The Imaging Clinical Site of Care program, administered by Anthem subsidiary AIM Specialty Health, requires outpatient MR and CT scans not considered medically necessary to be completed at a freestanding imaging facility in order to be covered.

Fujifilm announces new 10-year contract with US Dept of Defense

FUJIFIM Medical Systems U.S.A. announced Wednesday that it has agreed to a 10-year contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs worth up to $768 million. The contract, part of the Digital Imaging Network-PACS (DIN-PACS) IV project, allows U.S. government healthcare providers to purchase and install solutions—including Synapse 5 PACS and Synapse VNA—from Fujifilm’s Synapse enterprise imaging portfolio.

MEDNAX acquires Radiology Associates of South Florida

MEDNAX announced Wednesday, Aug. 23, it has acquired Miami-based Radiology Associates of South Florida (RASF). It was a cash transaction, and no other terms of the deal have been made public.

Washington ultrasound company wins $5.6M in IP suit

On Aug. 17, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington confirmed a final award of more than $5.6 million, issued to Verasonics, in a binding arbitration. The court found Alpinion Medical Systems Company had breached non-disclosure and lease agreements and misappropriated Verasonics’ intellectual property.

Money matters: Educational intervention boosts rad residents’ financial literacy

By the end of 2016, Americans had accrued a total of $1.31 trillion in student loan debt—and med school grads have done their share with a median debt of $180,000. Considering such an industry-wide burden, researchers from the department of radiology at the University of Colorado in Aurora examined how educational interventions could improve financial literacy among radiology residents.

Radiologist compensation continues to rise

More than three-quarters of physician specialties, 77 percent, have enjoyed compensation increases over the past year, and radiology is in that happy mix. Diagnostic rads’ median compensation rose 2.6 percent, from $490,399 in 2016 to $503,225 this year.

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