The Reading Room

Our latest update on all things imaging

How to tackle the biggest challenges to imaging screening programs

by Solomon Banjo August 26, 2016

Screening programs remain one of radiology’s biggest opportunities to contribute to population health management efforts. These exams can identify diseases earlier in their progression when treatment is both more effective and less costly, facts that are consistent with the current shift to value-based payment models.

Recent years have seen an expansion in the number of imaging screening programs covered by either public or private payers, but challenges remain. This blog post examines the biggest challenges facing imaging screening exams currently reimbursed by either private or public payers, and what imaging programs can do in response.

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Early Alzheimer’s detection: The next frontier for imaging screening?

Miriam Sznycer-Taub August 23, 2016

Definitively diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease has traditionally been challenging. While the disease is typically diagnosed from cognitive indicators, there has been no definitive way to verify the diagnosis until the patient died and an autopsy could be performed. As some evidence suggests that early diagnosis of the disease can result in better treatment outcomes, there has been a strong desire to develop better diagnostic tests.

While amyloid PET scanning has existed for some time, it has yet to become accepted as a diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s. This is likely due to the fact that there has not been convincing evidence that using amyloid PET imaging results in earlier diagnosis and better patient outcomes. But that may be changing, as a recent study reported that a combination of screening methods, including amyloid PET imaging, might allow doctors to diagnose Alzheimer’s earlier than before.

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The 411 on mobile mammography

by Sarah Hostetter August 9, 2016

Many imaging programs are looking for ways to expand their market share without drastically altering their service offerings. One approach we’ve seen gaining more traction is mobile imaging, with the most successful movement in mobile mammography.

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What the MPFS proposed rule says about imaging CDS

by Erin Lane August 3, 2016

Last month the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2017 proposal for the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. We recently provided a comprehensive analysis of the key proposals impacting imaging. Today, we take a closer look at one of the most important proposals for imaging leaders—those concerning the imaging clinical decision support (CDS) mandate, or the Medicare Appropriate Use Criteria Program.

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Your top site-neutral payment questions for imaging—answered

by Erin Lane and Solomon Banjo July 26, 2016

This blog post has been updated to reflect the latest regulatory updates related to site-neutral payments.

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

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

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The imaging leader’s guide to Medicare payment updates for 2017

by Erin Lane and Solomon Banjo July 19, 2016

Last week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the calendar year (CY) 2017 proposals for outpatient facilities and provider payments. To save you time, we read through the 1500+ pages of regulation to identify the five key takeaways for imaging leaders and radiologists.

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2016's top imaging market trends, demystified

Miriam Sznycer-Taub July 8, 2016

It seems you can’t read a health care news article or blog without hearing that the health care industry is changing. And imaging, because it crosses all service lines, seems to be impacted by nearly every change in health care. How to understand it all? We’ve analyzed many of the hot topics in imaging and they fall into five major categories.

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Fire trucks and frogs: 5 ways to reduce the need for sedation in kids

by Sarah Hostetter June 29, 2016

When it comes to kid-friendly imaging, safety concerns are often top of mind. For example, pediatric imaging providers regularly note the challenges associated with sedating children and seek ways to reduce the need for sedation and its associated risks whenever possible.

We wanted to take a deeper look at the way pediatric imaging programs are decreasing the need for sedation and how one organization put these strategies into practice.

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