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

Located on the Puget Sound about 35 miles south of Seattle, Washington, the community of Tacoma and surrounding Pierce County benefit from a number of innovations that are linking local radiology providers in an uncommon collaboration. Through IT and service agreements across two competing hospital systems and two separate radiology groups, all

In March 2010, Sutter Health announced plans to sever a contract, in place for nearly a century, with Radiological Associates of Sacramento in California. Under its terms, the group had served five Sutter Health hospitals in the region. The previous year, Mercy Health Partners suddenly let lapse an equally established handshake agreement that it

While the fate and integrity of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) are likely to be clarified in this highly polarized presidential-election year, Massachusetts continues along a path (begun 5.5 years ago) to reform its health-care system under a law that shares many of the hallmarks of the PPACA—including the controversial

Growing your high-tech imaging business is just not the same game that it used to be, according to William Barta, corporate director of imaging services for Fairview Health Services (Minneapolis, Minnesota). “The days of patients coming to us just because they have to are gone,” he says. “It’s a whole different mindset from what health care used to

No matter how good your service is or how expert and reliable the care, if someone isn’t taking care of the back of the house, health care is out of business. I learned that the hard way when my wonderful dentist (who used to tell her elderly clients that there was a sale on fillings: two for $25) could no longer pay the rent, sold her business to

Many of the accidents that spurred press coverage of CT overdoses in recent years occurred in California. This led to enactment of the state’s SB 1237 (and subsequent cleanup legislation), which will take effect on July 1, 2012. The law’s basic provisions are that the so-called CT dose—the volumetric CT dose index and the dose–length product—must

On March 7, 2012, the proposed rule¹ governing stage 2 of the CMS incentive program for electronic health records (EHRs) and the 2014 EHR certification criteria² were published to generally favorable reviews from organized radiology. Mike Peters, director of legislative and regulatory affairs for the ACR®, explains why the ACR has spent so much

With a bundled-payment pilot program instituted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act set to begin in 2013, it is interesting (and perhaps instructive) to look at a three-year CMS project nearing its endpoint—the Acute Care Episode (ACE) Demonstration1 for orthopedic and cardiovascular surgery—through the eyes of one participating

Since the passage of the DRA, and through subsequent hits to reimbursement for imaging, one question has been perennial in the radiology community: How can radiologists raise their profile with patients without sacrificing productivity (or profitability)? John A. Patti, MD, chair of the ACR® board of chancellors, suggests that radiologists should

For January through June 2011, one-third of people in the United States were members of families having difficulties paying for medical care, according to a March 2012 report.¹ One in five people was in a family having problems paying medical bills, one in four was in a family paying medical bills over time, and one in 10 was in a family that had

A maxim in radiology, as we traverse this most uncertain health-care landscape, is that size matters. In fact, it matters a lot. Consolidation is accelerating among independent radiology groups—especially those that have, for years, deferred the tough decisions that might have given them some breathing room as more aggressive competitors encroached

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