ACR Bulletin | April 2016

More Than Theoretical

ACR’s impact on payment policy goes beyond intangible goals and makes a measurable difference for radiologists and their patients. 

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After an eventful legislative finale for 2015, I’ve been pondering the impact on radiology of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (also called the Omnibus Reconciliation Act) enacted by Congress in December 2015. Our influence resulted in the inclusion of the roll back of the professional component Multiple Procedure Payment Reduction policy (MPPR) from 25 percent to 5 percent.

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Increasing CT Lung Screening

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The fight for lung cancer screening isn’t over yet. According to a new study published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, low-dose CT lung cancer screening should be expanded to include smokers who gave up the habit long ago. The study examined more than 6,000 lung cancer patients and found that those who quit smoking over 15 years ago represented the largest group of diagnosed individuals who were not covered by screening — about 17 percent of the entire cohort. Further, by comparing data with earlier trials such as the National Lung Screening Trial, researchers determined that adding this cohort to the USPSTF recommendation would only result in a 0.6 percent increase in false positives. 

Researchers Analyze Ancient Hearts

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Imaging doesn’t just provide a window into a patient’s current diagnosis; it gives insight into past diagnoses as well.

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Corporate Practice of Medicine

What do radiologists need to understand about corporate entities and radiology?

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The ACR Legal Office receives occasional inquiries regarding the corporate practice of medicine. Most often, the caller is looking for a way to block a corporate entity not owned by radiologists from practicing radiology using employed radiologists. They want to know if such arrangements are prohibited by law.

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RFS JACR® Highlights: April

What should I read this month?

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The April issue of the JACR® covers job seeking strategies, how to correctly use the term “nonspecific” in your reports, the growing competitiveness of fellowships, and more. Here are a handful of articles of special interest to radiologists in training.

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Increasing the Numbers for the Match

RFS Voices

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Radiologists across the country were surprised to see 13.7 percent of diagnostic radiology residency positions go unfilled in the 2015 match, despite the specialty having one of the most competitive residency tracks in the United States for many years.

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3 Things to Read Today

Intriguing links from around the web

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This week, we’re looking at how to create a successful lung cancer screening team, radiologists and depression, and more.

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Getting Some Clarity Around Screening Mammography

In these muddy waters, can we find and fight breast cancer?

Malik web

Saving lives through mammography does not have to be expensive. In fact, an informed use of current technology allows breast cancer specialists to diagnose and treat the disease better than ever before. Yet recent updates to the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and American Cancer Society (ACS) breast cancer screening guidelines have muddied the waters, leaving the public, patients, and providers searching for answers in the quest to catch and cure breast cancer.

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3 Things to Read Today

Intriguing Links from Around the Web

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This week, we’re reading about facilitating communication with team members, asking the right questions, and more.

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Kathmandu: Week 2

Installing Nepal’s first PACS in a government hospital proves more complex than expected.

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Read about Dr. Kapalczynski’s first week in Nepal. And check back each week for updates on his project.

Sitting in the radiology department lounge, I sunk deeper into my worn and somewhat dilapidated armchair as I listened to a half dozen phone calls being fielded by the hospital’s elusive IT administrator.

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#AUR16 in 140 Characters

What’s the word on the AUR 2016 annual meeting?

TWEET

This year’s Association of University Radiologists meeting focused on diversity and inclusion in the specialty. We learned about unconscious bias, the various paradigms of diversity, and how to become leaders for change in our environments. Find out what everyone was chatting about during the meeting.

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3 Things to Read Today

Intriguing Links From Around the Web

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This week, we’re checking out social media tips, learning about collaboration, and reading about the overall benefits of taking your time with patients.

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Professional Guidance

The most successful mentorships benefit both mentors and mentees.

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A few years after joining Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Eric A. Walker, MD, reluctantly participated in a mandatory junior faculty development program. Through the program, Walker was assigned a mentor, an orthopedic surgeon nearing the end of his career who often volunteered in Honduras.

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MACRA: One Year On

MACRA’s first anniversary is upon us. Where are we now?

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It’s hard to believe that a year has elapsed since the overwhelmingly bipartisan passage of the MACRA (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act) legislation that repealed the Sustainable Growth Formula and set us on an accelerated trajectory toward value-based payments.

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Getting the Word Out

With health care becoming increasingly consumer driven, how do you market your practice to both patients and referring clinicians?

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The tiny town of Lovettsville, Va., boasts a population of 1,801 — only one of whom is a general practitioner. Because of the town’s size, campaigns for preventative health practices such as mammography were scarce. Until, that is, one of the residents was diagnosed with breast cancer.

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April Case of the Month

Access case here.

Authors: Amanda Jeanne Beer, MD,PGY-5, Resident, Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA, and Luke Lancaster, MD, Associate Professor, Nuclear Medicine and Pediatric Radiology, Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA

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