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Recent Headlines

Medicare to pay 5% less for CT scans acquired on non-compliant technology

In January 2016, Medicare will begin reimbursing providers 5 percent less for CT scans that are acquired on technology that does not meet Standard XR-29-2013, the latest specifications for CT dose optimization published by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association’s Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA).

Intrinsic Imaging achieves quality milestone

Intrinsic Imaging, the Boston-based clinical research organization (CRO) arm of South Texas Radiology Group in San Antonio, has obtained ISO 22301:2012 business continuity certification, a quality designation awarded by the International Organization for Standardization.

Radiology device failures propel doubling of medical device recalls

The number of annual medical device recalls increased by 97 percent between 2003 and 2012, and radiology devices played a leading role in the growth trend, according to a report from the Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

Prince endows new resident RSNA research grant

MRI legend Martin R. Prince, M.D., Ph.D, F.A.C.R., has endowed the RSNA Research & Education Foundation to fund the Prince Research Resident Grant, to be awarded for the first time this spring.

MQSA Raises Overall Mammography Facility Performance Since 2002

By one measure of quality, mammography providers have increased their performance from a D grade in 2002 to a B grade this year.

An update issued today from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the Mammography Quality Standards Act and Program (MQSA) reveals that 86.9% of all facilities tested in February were free of violations, a vast improvement since 2002, when just 64.2% of facilities achieved that distinction.

Technology Acquisition: Implementing the New Normal

Reimbursement cuts, market consolidation, and health-care reform have sparked significant changes in the imaging-technology strategies being implemented across the radiology landscape. Practices, imaging centers, and hospital radiology departments alike not only are altering the manner in which they formulate decisions on imaging-equipment acquisition, but also are adopting different approaches to demonstrating the need for new technology, to acquiring capital for equipment purchases, and to maintaining the assets that they already have.

Showdown in Missouri: Decision Support Versus RBMs

Two years ago, a friend of Missouri state Rep Caleb Jones (R) sustained a shoulder injury while playing with his child. While a physician suggested that an MRI exam might be in order, the man’s health-insurance provider would not cover the cost of the study and instructed him to seek care from a sports-medicine practice. Forced to jump through multiple hoops to address his injury, the man endured prolonged pain and frustration before learning that he had not just bruised his shoulder; he had sustained a fracture—with which he had been walking around for two weeks.

Imaging Technology: Utilization and Service

Introduction: Imaging providers—now, more than ever—need to operate their technology resources as efficiently as possible. To achieve maximum efficiency, the imaging devices must be properly maintained, or providers run the risk of equipment failure. If efficiency is defined as the number of units (procedures) produced in a standard day (10 hours), then three key elements drive efficiency: technology availability (uptime), speed (time needed to produce a single unit), and staff productivity. These three elements are the foundation of throughput.

Equipment Service: Total Cost of Ownership Imaging managers are being called upon to reduce costs significantly in their departments, so understanding the total cost of ownership is critical. All payors have targeted imaging as a high-cost, high-utilization service, over the past seven years, and now health-care reform will change the way that imaging does business forever—making it a cost center on the inpatient side.
Future Tense: Radiology’s Clinical Pathway

Roderic Pettigrew, MD, PhD, is director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He states his organization’s goal simply: developing technology that can detect disease early, even at the molecular level, long before physical symptoms begin to appear.

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