Your Board in Action

Leadership changes highlight an active Board meeting.your board in action

The ACR Board of Chancellors (BOC) and Council Steering Committee (CSC) held their winter meeting January 18–19. The highlight of the meeting was the announcement of new officers for 2013–2014 and the selection of William T. Thorwarth Jr., MD, FACR, as CEO.

Bibb Allen Jr., MD, FACR, will serve as BOC chair beginning at the conclusion of AMCLC 2014, in late April. James A. Brink, MD, FACR, will take over as BOC vice chair. Anne C. Roberts, MD, FACR, will continue in her role as secretary-treasurer. The College Nominating Committee will provide its slate of candidates for council consideration for the offices of president and vice president at AMCLC.

Thorwarth will take over for Harvey L. Neiman, MD, FACR, who will retire from the College after 11 years of service in that role. Thorwarth, who served as president of the College, as chair of the Commission on Economics, and as a member of the ACR Board of Chancellors, was selected after an extensive search process. Read an interview with Thorwarth at http://bit.ly/Thorwarth.

The board agreed to sponsor five resolutions and two bylaws changes at AMCLC 2014. The two proposed bylaws changes included changing the status of the Canadian Association of Radiologists member from observer to full board member. The board also agreed to propose a change in the dues cycle to provide greater administrative flexibility. The five resolutions included (1) establishing a process to better audit subspecialty society representation, (2) creating an affirmative statement supporting tobacco cessation programs, (3) extending council observer status to the National Medical Association’s Radiology Section, (4) providing a council seat to the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, and (5) establishing programs to meet the needs of lung cancer screening programs.

Roberts presented a review of the College’s finances. While the College remains in good financial standing, some challenges in both the short- and long-term are expected. In 2010, the ACR council adopted a resolution to allow the Budget and Finance Committee to propose, and the Board of Chancellors and Council Steering Committee to approve, an annual increase in dues of up to 3 percent. The resolution was adopted in part due to the inconsistent manner of and heavier burden placed on periodic, larger increases. Due to the College’s financial health and the economy, annual dues increases were not determined to be needed from 2011 to 2014. The board and CSC, seeing possible deficits in operations over the next several years and acting on the recommendation of the Budget and Finance Committee, adopted a 3 percent increase for the 2015 dues. This increase will be coupled with ongoing efforts within the College to trim expenses.

Debra L. Monticciolo, MD, FACR, chair of the ACR Commission on Quality and Safety, reported on the progress of a lung cancer screening guideline. The final guideline will go to the council in April. Additional activities included development of Lung-RADS, including final assessment categories, management recommendations, an atlas, and a registry.

Allen provided an update on the activities of the Strategic Planning Committee. He reported that Tecker International has been selected to help facilitate the plan’s development and to assist the committee in its work.

David C. Kushner, MD, FACR, chair of the Commission on Membership and Communications, reviewed the results of the membership survey and a think tank discussion. Twenty-six recommendations to increase membership, provide more relevant value, and seek greater member engagement were presented.

Allen then provided an update on the 2013 ACR Forum, the theme of which was “The Future of Imaging Biomarkers in Radiological Practice.” A white paper on the forum was published in the January issue of the JACR®.

Allen also provided an update on Imaging 3.0™, a radiology-wide initiative. He emphasized the need for practical tools to help radiologists ensure their key role in evolving health care delivery, payment models, and quality patient care. Updates on Imaging 3.0 efforts include clinical decision support (including ACR Select™), critical results reporting, and industry integration. Allen described the coordinated informatics framework to support Imaging 3.0 and the specific informatics activities that will support and enhance image processing and decision support and provide informative results for radiologists, referring clinicians, and patients.

Philip S. Cook, MD, FACR, provided an update on the activities of the recently created interventional radiology/interventional neuroradiology task force, which he chairs. The spectrum of issues reviewed included both financial and IT-oriented challenges. Committees have been established to participate in this three-phase program, with follow-up to the main task force in September.

Cheri L. Canon, MD, FACR, chair of the Commission on Education, shared an updated program schedule for ACR 2015. The meeting’s theme will be “The Crossroads of Radiology.” The new ACR meeting, to be held in Washington, D.C. May 17–21, 2015, will include substantial CME opportunities. Individual pathways will include advocacy, economics, and health policy; clinical research; informatics and innovations; clinical education; quality and safety; leadership; governance; and select ACR offerings, such as from the Education Center and AIRP. Educational topics were highlighted and examples were provided that integrate educational content into the College’s pillars.

The BOC also heard brief updates from the 20 ACR commissions and reports from the CSC, the Radiology Advocacy Network, the Radiology Leadership Institute®, the JACR, and the Intersociety Summer Conference.

As part of the ACR Association update, Allen reviewed RADPAC® contributions to date, noting the importance of these special fundraising efforts. Of the more than 100 health care PACS, RADPAC is ranked third in contributions. In 2013, RADPAC received over $1.3 million in contributions from more than 3,000 contributors for the third year in a row.

Allen also reported on the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute. The Neiman Institute spectrum of research products were reviewed as well as the institute’s activities at RSNA. Details, scope, and variety of external grants were highlighted. The institute’s collaborative efforts will include working with the Association of University Radiologists, the Radiology Research Alliance, and the Radiology Alliance of Health Services Researchers.

Cynthia Moran, executive vice president of ACR government relations, economics, and health policy, provided a legislative update, reporting on the repeal and replacement of the SGR, potential pitfalls, and issues related to committee jurisdiction. Aggressive lobbying resulted in the ACR being the only medical specialty society to successfully insert policy priorities into this bicameral bipartisan legislation. Moran also provided an outlook for the 2014 elections.

Geraldine B. McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR, chair of the Commission on Economics, provided an update on critical economic issues, including the CMS 2014 final rules on physician payment. McGinty pointed out that fee-for-service reductions continue and are multifactorial. She reported that new payment models are slow to be applied to imaging but work is ongoing and that Imaging 3.0 remains a compelling story about our willingness to embrace value-based care.


By Paul H. Ellenbogen, MD, FACR, Chair

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