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The Reading Room

Our latest update on all things imaging

Filtered by: Physician Issues Hide

Time to examine self-referrals?

September 3, 2013

Shaun Lillard, Imaging Performance Partnership

According to a new study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology, self-referral is due for a reevaluation. 

A research team, headed by Dr. Timothy Amrhein of the department of radiology and radiological science at the University of South Carolina, found that physicians with a financial interest in the MRI equipment being used do have a bias toward increase utilization. The study supports the Obama administration’s proposal to restrict the in-office ancillary services exception to the Stark Law.

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A world without preauthorization? Wisconsin pilots new waiver

August 15, 2013

Shanah Tirado, Imaging Performance Partnership

The preauthorization process can be a burden on both referring physicians and radiology providers. It can be labor-intensive and costly to ensure patient exams are preauthorized correctly and mistakes can mean denied claims. 

However, a new policy in Wisconsin may be offering some relief to providers by shifting control from third-party radiology benefits managers (RBMs) to providers utilizing clinical decision support tools.

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Signs of financial relief for radiologists: New bill to repeal SGR clears House committee

August 6, 2013

Shanah Tirado, Imaging Performance Partnership

On Wednesday, July 31, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 51-0 in favor of the Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act of 2013—a bill that would repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula for determining Medicare reimbursement. 

The SGR has driven CMS to slash reimbursements in an effort to aggressively reduce spending. Imaging has been under the microscope as a source of health system waste, experiencing aggressive rate cuts as much as 25% as a result. The new bill shows the promise of relief.

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Congress fights Stark law exception

August 1, 2013

Ben Lauing, Imaging Performance Partnership

Today, Representative Jackie Speier (CA-14), along with Representatives Jim McDermott (WA-7) and Dina Titus (NV-1), introduced the “Promoting Integrity in Medicare Act of 2013,” or “PIMA.” 

This bill would eliminate the in-office ancillary services exception to the Stark law for advanced imaging, anatomic pathology, radiation therapy, and physical therapy.

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You activate your machines—but what about your patients?

July 10, 2013

Ben Lauing, Imaging Performance Partnership

As we transition to a world of accountable care, health care leaders are increasing their focus on patient accountability as well. One term gaining traction is “patient activation,” which refers to a provider’s ability to engage patients in their care and to empower them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to proactively manage their own health.

Our universal paradigm shift to patient-centered care has major implications for imaging, but necessitates more than simple satisfaction scores. If you want to deliver high-quality imaging services, you need to start activating your patients.

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Best practice teleradiology from the ACR

May 28, 2013

Shaun Lillard, Imaging Performance Partnership

Are you considering teleradiology for your imaging program? A new white paper from the American College of Radiology (ACR) outlines four underlying principles that should guide any institution utilizing the service.

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Maintenance of Certification under attack

April 30, 2013

Ben Lauing, Imaging Performance Partnership


Claiming in a lawsuit filed last week that it is nothing more than a “money-making scheme,” the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) hopes to do away with the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program.

Is the MOC process a valuable tool for ensuring proficiency, or just a way to line the pockets of executives at the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)?

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President Obama targets self-referrals and pre-authorization

April 12, 2013  | Comments (1)

Ben Lauing, Imaging Performance Partnership

President Obama’s proposed budget may signal major reforms in store for imaging. Self-referral, an issue often debated but rarely acted upon, is now an explicit target; the Obama administration has proposed restricting the in-office ancillary services exception to the Stark law. Furthermore, the budget suggests mandatory pre-authorization for advanced imaging modalities.

While this is only a proposed budget, and Congress could take it or leave it, we think it’s highly likely that regulations to curb imaging utilization will soon emerge.

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