The Reading Room

Our latest update on all things imaging

Should you open a lower-priced imaging site?

Miriam Sznycer-Taub February 27, 2017

As patients are increasingly shopping for imaging services, it can be tempting to open a lower-priced imaging site.

Such facilities can increase capacity and market share by appealing to price-sensitive consumers—but there are also risks to this type of venture. Opening a new facility requires a large capital investment, and imaging leaders must be careful to avoid cannibalizing volumes at existing sites of care. So how do you know if a lower-priced site of care is right for you? 

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What we learned from surveying 12,000 imaging managers: Education is crucial to engagement

Lea Halim February 17, 2017

"What do my imaging leaders need?"

I would bet many hospital and imaging executives are asking themselves this question right now.

To help find the answer, I recently pulled blinded engagement data for over 12,000 imaging managers complied by Advisory Board's Survey Solutions team, which distributes surveys to the full staff of member hospitals.

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The first step in radiation safety: Evaluate your culture

by Ty Aderhold February 13, 2017

Slowly but surely, the use of higher-dose radiation procedures such as CT and interventional radiology has been rising. In the last 15 years alone, the number of CT exams has nearly tripled—and CT examinations have doubled in the past 20 years for children under five, who are at a greater risk for complications due to radiation exposure.

So how can imaging departments remain vigilant in regards to radiation safety?

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What the RSNA's call to look 'beyond imaging' means for you

by Domenica Gilbert January 24, 2017

In late 2016, the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) held its annual conference. Amid presentations by leading experts and showcases of gadgets galore, one message stood out: to usher in a new era of imaging, your program will have to look beyond imaging. As RSNA President Dr. Richard Baron framed in his presidential address, "We, as radiologists, must extend our gaze beyond the constraints of the image to gain a broader perspective on the patient experience."

Keep reading to get the three imperatives RSNA outlined to look beyond imaging—and what they mean for you in 2017.

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What to do with CMS's new patient-facing encounter codes

by Pooja Desai January 18, 2017

CMS recently published a list of patient-facing encounter codes that will affect which reporting requirements and performance metrics apply to clinicians within the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) under MACRA. This list of encounter codes helps radiologists gain clarity on what performance metrics they will be evaluated on under MIPS.

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Your New Year's resolution: Learn fresh ways to demonstrate imaging's value from 5 of your peers

by Erin Lane January 6, 2017

2016 was a year to remember: health systems underwent significant consolidation, took on greater payment risk, and saw details emerge for MACRA. To top it all off, the presidential election has brought an unprecedented level of uncertainty to health care.

Between reimbursement cuts and utilization scrutiny under risk-based payment, imaging risks being viewed as a commodity to health systems and a cost burden to patients. To ensure that imaging is seen as a vital component of the care delivery system, programs must demonstrate radiology’s value to these stakeholders.

But how? Progressive imaging programs innovate their value proposition to stakeholders by tuning in to their needs and designing or elevating relevant services that yield measurable outcomes. To kickstart your thinking, we’ve highlighted our five blogs profiling radiology groups and imaging programs that did just that:

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What can we learn from measuring scan quality?

by Ty Aderhold December 16, 2016

To stay competitive, imaging programs increasingly must demonstrate their value in new ways, such as being able to measure and prove their quality. A high quality imaging program involves many different components, but all quality in imaging starts with a high quality scan. Radiologists depend on high quality scans to be able to conduct high quality reads, so image quality should be top of mind for imaging programs.

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Your top site-neutral payment questions for imaging—answered

by Pooja Desai December 9, 2016

This blog post has been updated to reflect changes to site-neutral payments presented in the HOPPS final rule, released November 1, 2016.

A brief refresher on site-neutral payments

Currently, reimbursement differs by site of care, with hospital outpatient departments (HOPD) receiving higher reimbursement than freestanding clinics for the same services. For example, payment for a knee MRI without contrast performed at an HOPD is 162% of the freestanding payment.

Site-neutral payment, also called payment leveling or payment equalization, refers to a reduction in payment for services performed at HOPDs to minimize the reimbursement discrepancy across sites of care.

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