The Reading Room

Our latest update on all things imaging

Better together: How one radiology group improved care, collaboration for hospital partners

by Solomon Banjo September 23, 2016

Hospitals and health systems have invested heavily in IT infrastructure such as electronic health records (EHRs) in recent years. However, these IT solutions have struggled to deliver on the promise of information exchange and interoperability that initially spurred adoption.

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When should the Image Gently campaign end? Two experts debate.

Miriam Sznycer-Taub September 16, 2016

Here at the Imaging Performance Partnership, we’ve been interested in the recent back and forth taking place in the Journal of the American College of Radiology regarding the future of the Image Gently campaign. Over the past several months, Dr. Mervyn Cohen, of Indiana University, and Dr. Donald Frush, of Duke University Medical Center and the Image Gently Alliance, have presented their views on the success (or lack thereof) of the Image Gently campaign and what the future might look like for pediatric radiation dose management.

For those unfamiliar, the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging was created in 2007 in an effort to raise awareness of opportunities to lower pediatric radiation dose. This Alliance grew into Image Gently, a campaign using social marketing to both physicians and parents to address these issues.

Image Gently now comprises more than 100 professional societies and more than 1 million health care professionals. Through the website and marketing campaigns, Image Gently offers protocols to help lower radiation dose, recommendations for technologists and physicians, and advice for parents. With such a wealth of information available, it stands to wonder why we would even be speaking about ending this campaign.

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The best way to improve radiology patient transport efficiency

by Erin Lane September 2, 2016

Operational efficiency is a top priority for hospital-based imaging leaders, as minimizing patient length of stay is a key component of improving patient care and reducing costs. For imaging programs, effective patient transport is both a pain point and critical piece of radiology’s role in achieving these goals. Delays in patient transport for radiology can create backlog for modalities, delay discharge, and frustrate patients.

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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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