ImagingBiz: Hill Country practice is PACS-flavored success story

Written by Ronny Bacharach on . Posted in News & Events, PACS

Nine years ago, when radiologist Kevin Barker, MD, joined the solo practice of Dr. Anson Cone, Community Radiology Associates (CRA) covered one imaging center and one rural hospital, and enjoyed high regard from referring physicians in the Texas Hill Country, a vast, 25-county region marked by rugged hills separating Austin from San Antonio.

 Read the entire Article here on ImagingBiz.com originally published on July 23rd by Cheryl Proval

Follow Choosing Wisely to Foster Courage in Clinical Decision Making

Written by Ronny Bacharach on . Posted in Digital Radiography and PACS, DR

Radiologists must be cognizant of patient safety at all times, as overexposure to radiation from imaging equipment can cause cancer. However, numerous organizations and national campaigns have sought to educate health care providers, patients and families on the importance of making optimal clinical decisions.

As an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine, Choosing Wisely has been the subject of multiple studies. In the April issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers led by Catherine Gliwa and Steven Pearson, M.D., of the National Institutes of Health, examined the role that evidence pertaining to the benefits, risks and costs of medical imaging procedures plays in selecting services.

Follow Choosing Wisely to Foster Courage in Clinical Decision Making

Follow Choosing Wisely to Foster Courage in Clinical Decision Making

Meet MITA XR-29 Radiation Standards Before Reimbursement Cuts Occur in 2016

Written by Ryan Everhart on . Posted in Digital Radiography and PACS, Hardware

When the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama on April 1, there were new stipulations included within the legislation that affected different parts of health care. In addition to the year-long delay to the implementation of ICD-10, the bill also concerned imaging appropriateness criteria for radiologists.

According to Diagnostic Imaging, the new standards for radiation dosages that were included in PAMA mean that providers need to ensure that their equipment is compliant with the bill. While some existing imaging technologies have dose alert systems, other CT scanners may need to be upgraded or replaced to accommodate the changes.

Meet MITA XR-29 Radiation Standards Before Reimbursement Cuts Occur in 2016

Meet MITA XR-29 Radiation Standards Before Reimbursement Cuts Occur in 2016

Ohio Radiologists Cut CT Radiation Dosages to Increase Detection Rates

Written by Ronny Bacharach on . Posted in Digital Radiography and PACS, PACS

With the Image Wisely campaign and other federal initiatives aiming to reduce the risk of radiation exposure in medical imaging, health care providers are looking for better ways to conduct procedures. By changing certain scanning protocols, radiologists can limit the number of repeated exams and minimize dosages to enhance patient safety.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, Ohio State University was able to reduce radiation-induced cancers by 50 percent through slashed CT dosages, AuntMinnie.com reported. A team of researchers, led by Michael Rayo, Ph.D., utilized readily available tools, such as iterative reconstruction and tube current modulation, to reduce radiation dose.

Ohio Radiologists Cut CT Radiation Dosages to Increase Detection Rates

Ohio Radiologists Cut CT Radiation Dosages to Increase Detection Rates

Open-Ended Conversations Between Docs and Radiologists Lead to Better Care

Written by Ryan Everhart on . Posted in Digital Radiography and PACS, PACS

Because they must work together to collaborate on care strategies for patients, it is important for radiologists and referring physicians to maintain fluid communication with one other. Without it, practices could be subject to lengthy and expensive malpractice lawsuits due to missed or inaccurate diagnoses.

AuntMinnie.com reported that researchers from Duke University, presenting at the recent International Symposium on Multidetector Row CT in San Francisco, California, gleaned meaningful information from interviews with referring physicians that led to improvements in radiology customer service. According to Daniel Boll, M.D., understanding what doctors value and how they utilize radiology reports is essential for radiologists to improve their working relationship.

Open-Ended Conversations Between Docs and Radiologists Lead to Better Care

Open-Ended Conversations Between Docs and Radiologists Lead to Better Care

Practice Better Radiology to Avoid Malpractice Lawsuits

Written by Steve Deaton on . Posted in Digital Radiography and PACS, PACS

Regardless of their specialties, doctors might find themselves on the receiving end of a malpractice suit at one point. These legal proceedings can interfere with revenue cycle management at medical imaging practices, leading to radiologists being more cognizant of how they interact and treat patients.

The American College of Radiology explained that “bad” doctors are not the only ones who can get sued. Every year, radiologists have a 1 in 3 chance of having a malpractice suit filed against them. The most common are associated with a failure to either accurately diagnose a disease or communicate with patients and referring physicians in a timely manner. Roughly 33 percent of all malpractice claims are lost by the defending radiologist, and this number continues to rise.

Practice Better Radiology to Avoid Malpractice Lawsuits

Practice Better Radiology to Avoid Malpractice Lawsuits

Adopt the Cloud to Bring More Value, Better Payments to Radiology

Written by Ronny Bacharach on . Posted in Cloud, Digital Radiography and PACS

While medical imaging is valuable to physicians for the development of accurate treatment plans, the radiologists themselves serve an important role in the care process. They can wear a variety of hats that make them integral to improving quality of care.

As part of health care reform, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the Physician Quality Reporting system to encourage radiologists and other doctors to submit meaningful information to CMS for review. According to the American College of Radiology, depending on their performance, these providers would receive either incentive payments in the form of bonuses or adjustments to their reimbursements that serve as penalties for poor performance.

Adopt the Cloud to Bring More Value, Better Payments to Radiology

Adopt the Cloud to Bring More Value, Better Payments to Radiology

VNAs can Provide the Image Integration That EHRs Lack

Written by Mark Dobbs on . Posted in Digital Radiography and PACS, Software

With health care providers on the lookout for beneficial innovations to enhance their services, products such as electronic health records have experienced significant gains. When it comes to medical imaging, the popularity of vendor neutral archives has risen among radiologists.

According to HealthcareITNews, the volume and variety of diagnostic images has continually increased in recent years, especially with the industry moving toward electronic data as the standard for all health information. But with a range of developers on the market, doctors need to find better ways to store and access images – enter VNAs. Back in April 2014, business consulting firm Frost and Sullivan estimated that the market for these platforms would reach $210 million in the next four years.

VNAs can Provide the Image Integration That EHRs Lack

VNAs can Provide the Image Integration That EHRs Lack

ACR Offers Headache Imaging Guidelines to Avoid Costly Scans

Written by Ryan Everhart on . Posted in Digital Radiography and PACS, PACS

Often, patients will arrive at the emergency department with headaches that leave them crippled with pain and concerned that it is a serious health issue. Although there are symptoms that physicians check for to indicate the severity of the ailment, they may jump to medical imaging exams as a viable solution.

However, according to an article published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, uncomplicated and primary headaches do not require imaging scans for definitive diagnoses, Diagnostic Imaging reported. Using the ACR’s Appropriateness Criteria, the organization’s authors – led by Annette Douglas, M.D., and Franz Wippold, M.D. – explained that, while general head pain does not necessarily constitute imaging, certain red flags may suggest further examination with CT or MRI.

ACR Offers Headache Imaging Guidelines to Avoid Costly Scans

ACR Offers Headache Imaging Guidelines to Avoid Costly Scans

Proposed Rule from CMS Includes Payment Cuts to Radiation Oncology

Written by Ronny Bacharach on . Posted in Digital Radiography and PACS, PACS

Recently, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced amendments to the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. The ruling typically affects health care providers’ reimbursement for rendered services, but managed to skip over medical imaging to impact radiation oncology.

According to AuntMinnie.com, the MPFS for 2015 has targeted the treatment method for additional payment cuts in the coming six months. Under the proposed rule, this service’s reimbursements would be cut by 4 percent, while payments to radiation therapy centers would be slashed by 8 percent. While there is no clear cut answer as to why this modality has fallen under the axe of CMS, it may be that the agency feels the service is overvalued.

Proposed Rule from CMS Includes Payment Cuts to Radiation Oncology

Proposed Rule from CMS Includes Payment Cuts to Radiation Oncology

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