The Reading Room

Our latest update on all things imaging

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Poll results: Should radiologists talk to patients?

by Ben Lauing January 20, 2015

In my blog post last month, I discussed the pros and cons of having radiologists consult directly with patients. I also posed a question: do yours?

77 people responded to my quick poll, from a wide array of institutions. Keep reading to find out what they said.

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Why you should think twice about the Medicare Imaging Demonstration

by Erin Lane January 13, 2015

Recently there has been a lot of buzz about the effectiveness of using clinical decision support (CDS) to promote appropriate ordering of advanced imaging exams—especially since RAND released the results of the Medicare Imaging Demonstration (MID) late last year. The demonstration was a CDS pilot program designed by CMS—and the results weren’t encouraging.

But we need to understand more about the study before we jump to conclusions based on what’s been the news. Significant flaws in the design and limitations in methodology impact how we should interpret these results.

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Who orders the most imaging?

by Erin Lane December 22, 2014

A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine by the ACR’s Neiman Health Policy Institute examines the diagnostic imaging ordering patterns of primary care physicians and non-physician primary care providers, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants (sometimes referred to as advanced practitioners or APs).

Examining a sample of Medicare claims from 2010-2011, the authors found that APs ordered imaging for 2.8% episodes of care compared to physicians’ 1.9%, controlling for geographic variation and patient demographics. With the well-known concern about a shortage of primary care physicians across the country, many health systems are turning to APs to expand patient access. It is worth noting that this data is a few years old, and with recent increased attention on appropriate utilization this gap may have narrowed since 2011. Regardless, discrepancy in ordering patterns brings up some legitimate questions about patient safety and cost of care.

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Should radiologists talk to patients?

by Ben Lauing December 4, 2014

Last week, I came across an article in The New York Times, in which author Gina Kolata adds another voice to the ongoing conversation about whether or not radiologists should be directly consulting patients.

While opinions on this question run the spectrum, experts seem to agree that, at the very least, radiologists need to become more accessible.

What do you think: Should patient consultations be part of radiologists' accessibility strategy?

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Virtual second opinion website appeals to patient preferences

by Solomon Banjo November 14, 2014

In the final rule released in October 2014, CMS decided against reimbursement for secondary interpretations of images, but despite this development, some have been using the second opinion concept to appeal to patient preferences.

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Will you be celebrating radiology tomorrow?

by Erin Lane November 7, 2014

Looking for something to do this weekend besides eating leftover Halloween candy? Join the Imaging Performance Partnership in celebrating the third annual International Day of Radiology this Saturday, November 8.

This event, created to showcase the vital role radiology plays in improving health care through medical research, celebrates the value radiology provides in health care delivery. This year’s theme is brain imaging, to highlight the ways imaging aids in the detection and treatment of brain diseases and injuries.

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How to write radiology reports that patients can understand

by Sarah Hostetter October 7, 2014

As health care trends towards transparency and patient-centered care, patients are receiving more direct access to their medical records, including radiology reports.

In response, some radiologists are advocating for reports that are directed to and easily accessible by patients, which can have benefits not only for patients, but also for radiologists, radiology departments and even entire health systems.

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Where do radiologists fit in the new health care environment?

by Solomon Banjo October 1, 2014

Hospitals and physician groups have consolidated at the national level in response to the new requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We frequently receive questions from our members asking where radiologists fit into this new landscape.

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