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Policy

 

Thirty-two states enacted breast density reporting legislation in the last eight years, but no such bills have been passed on a federal level. Could that soon change?

Temperatures are dropping and my front yard is covered in leaves, which means it’s almost time for another eventful RSNA annual meeting in Chicago. I’ve spent some with this year’s schedule and wanted to share five can’t-miss sessions.

Women should not stop undergoing regular mammography based on their age alone, according to a new analysis published by the American Journal of Roentgenology. The authors of the article explored both the benefits and the risks of screening mammography for women ages 75 years and older.

Physicians aren’t the only ones who might benefit from using lead shields to guard against radiation exposure during cardiac catheterization, a new study suggests.

The chair of the American College of Radiology (ACR) Board of Chancellors, James A. Brink, MD, spoke to the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Energy today in Washington, D.C. The subcommittee was there to discuss the United States Department of Energy’s funding of low-dose radiation research, and Brink told its members that such research was needed to improve patient care.

 

Recent Headlines

VA maintains radiologists' role in image interpretation

The Veteran’s Administration has clarified the scope of authority granted to advanced nurses in a rule originally published in April, adding language that clarified their ability to analyze images. The American College of Radiology (ACR) praised the clarifications, saying, “The ACR commends the VA for maintaining a collaborative, integrated, physician-supervised approach to imaging care.”

Changes on the Horizon

A look ahead at some of 2017’s most significant policy changes

RSNA 2016: Leadership can be taught in radiology, starting with residency

Teaching leadership skills should be done through a radiologist’s residency, allowing those reluctant to lead to get comfortable and make some mistakes in a more protected environment.

New IRS rules permit long-term hospital contracts

The Internal Revenue Service is moving toward a more flexible approach when evaluating contacts between tax-exempt entities—such as many hospitals—and private, for-profit entities such as radiology groups.

How mammography programs can prepare for 2017 regulation

The FDA is stepping up its focus on quality assurance in breast imaging by adding three questions to their annual Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) inspections, starting in 2017. Radiology administrators should be aware of these changes, but they don’t have to feel blind-sided by them—the FDA won’t issue citations for violations until 2018.

Trump presidency injects minor uncertainty into legislation affecting radiology

The legislative impact of a Donald Trump presidency is hard to predict, but it certainly muddles the future for some healthcare legislation, according to Chris Sherin, Director of Congressional Affairs at the American College of Radiology.

Radiologists come out on top of 2017 MPFS ruling from CMS

CMS released its final ruling on the 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) at the beginning of November, and radiologists will benefit from the changes.

3 ways imaging practices can get ahead of MACRA

The final ruling on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was released in early October and, while there were some positive surprises for radiologists, hospitals and imaging centers need to work to ensure compliance in billing and reporting. Lack of knowledge about the looming changes, an uneven playing field with payors and the shift from volume to value could all undercut profitability at an imaging practice.  

 
Physician trainees aren’t being properly prepared to order imaging

A recent study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology confirmed something that most radiologists likely already knew to be true: physician trainees do not have a firm grasp of the costs associated with medical imaging. 

Final MACRA ruling beneficial for radiologists

A greater number of imaging specialists may be able to take advantage of the “non-patient facing” exemption outlined in the final ruling on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), released today by CMS.

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