As 2020 comes to a close, radiologists find their profession at a major crossroads. AI and other game-changing technologies are rapidly evolving, government policies are forcing practices to rethink their business models, and a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic continues to cause chaos for the entire healthcare industry. 

New Technology Add-On Payments (NTAP) are a class of reimbursement that are meant to help pay for new technology that is not included in the DRG bundled payment. Specifically, NTAP recognizes that current DRG payment rates can be a barrier to adopting new technology and represents an additional payment for hospital stays that use new technology determined by CMS to provide substantial clinical improvement and where the current DRG payment would be inadequate.

“Enterprise imaging” is a term that’s bandied about in healthcare. But what does it actually mean, and is your organization getting the most bang for its buck out of this very important process?

Connecticut-based Hyperfine made waves earlier this year when it announced the arrival of what it calls the “world’s first” portable MRI scanner. Which brings about interesting questions: How does it work? Is it replacing traditional technology? And what has COVID-19 meant for mobile imaging?

Last year the institutional leadership at Texas’s University Health System, which contracts with the UT Health San Antonio physician network, made the decision to move all inpatient imaging off the radiology department’s PACS and onto a new enterprise imaging (EI) platform. Their goal was internal consolidation. 

As recently as eight months ago, cardiologists sitting down to work with medical images at Novant Health had plenty of choices on where and how to go about that part of their jobs.

Providers harness Nuance technology to create backstop for imaging cases that may slip through the cracks

The Illinois Bone and Joint Institute (IBJI) treats patients in the Chicago area for every orthopedic issue under the sun, from rheumatoid arthritis to total knee replacements, and its 100-plus physicians order thousands of imaging exams on an annual basis.

The Portland Clinic (TPC), a physician-owned, multi-specialty group serving northwest Oregon, first opened its doors in 1921, when gas was $0.26 per gallon and silent films still ruled the box office. Nearly 100 years later, TPC has built a tight network of five clinic locations with 30 specialties and primary care teams working together to provide the full spectrum of care for patients within the Portland metropolitan area.

The job market for radiologists has never been better, with fewer medical students pursuing a career in radiology and a considerable number of physicians nearing retirement. And those trends only compound the systemic issues of an aging population and the ongoing physician shortage.

News on the public health crisis touched off by the spread of the novel coronavirus has been mostly bad. But a few bright rays have begun piercing the darkness. One is the growth of patient and provider acceptance of telemedicine. 

Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City has pioneered a lot of innovation. This time it’s digital pathology. They’re all in with research and consultation and dawning with primary diagnostics, thanks to a jump-start from COVID-19, and a recent FDA clearance of Sectra Digital Pathology Solution for image viewing.