The place for professional networking
As part of the strategic planning process for the College, I have been thinking a lot about why radiologists would want to be members of professional organizations.
Q: Why is it valuable to attend radiology conferences?
Having practiced for more than 20 years in Montana, I always look forward to meetings with fellow mammography colleagues around the country.
The premiere of Lung-RADS promises aid to radiologists creating lung cancer screening programs.
The first edition of lung-rads is out and ready to help practices implement their own programs. Ella A. Kazerooni, MD, MS, chair of the ACR Committee on Lung Cancer Screening, and Mythreyi Bhargavan-Chatfield, PhD, leader of the ACR Lung-RADS team, explain what you can expect from the atlas and why it’s important for practices to adopt.
Tracing Patient Outcomes
The chair of the annual PET/CT Symposium discusses today’s trends, the intersection of PET/CT and Imaging 3.0™, and what attendees from any specialty can take from this year’s meeting.
The Bulletin sat down with PET/CT Symposium chair Eric M. Rohren, MD, PhD, chief of PET imaging at the University of Texas MD Anderson Medical Center in Houston, to discuss what’s new in PET/CT, what to expect at this year’s symposium, and how radiologists can create value in PET/CT.
The annual Radiology Leadership Institute® event prepares radiologists to lead the specialty into the future.
Nestled in the forests of rural Massachusetts, outside of Boston, Babson College is the epitome of what you’d expect of a northeastern university: a campus lined with tall trees, large colonial red-brick buildings, and grass-flanked stone walls.
What Has the ACR Done for Me Lately?
Did you know?
- The ACR, seeking to address the changing landscape of health care, has developed the Imaging 3.0™ initiative, which integrates culture change, quality efforts, and technology tools to reinforce the cost-effective, integral role of radiology and the radiologist in the health marketplace. Case studies describing how to put Imaging 3.0 into practice, along with other resources, can be found at www.acr.org/imaging3.
- The ACR is collaborating with CMS to plan the implementation of the new congressional requirement on clinical decision support. Learn about ACR Select™, a decision support tool based on the ACR’s Appropriateness Criteria®, at http://bit.ly/ClinicalDecision.
- The ACR has engaged private payers across the U.S. to stave off implementation of professional component multiple procedure payment reductions. Most recently, the ACR secured a delay in United Healthcare’s plans to implement the reduction. For a further explanation of the issue and updates, read http://bit.ly/MPPRACR.
- To ensure lung cancer screening using LDCT is available not only to all privately insured individuals but to Medicare beneficiaries as well, the ACR led grassroots efforts this past summer to garner signatures from nearly half of the United States Senate and more than one-third of the U.S. House of Representatives on letters to the Department of Health and Human Services and CMS. In addition, the ACR recently coordinated another letter to CMS to support broad national coverage for annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose CT. The letter was signed by 76 medical specialty and patient advocate groups. To access the College’s lung cancer screening resources, visit http://bit.ly/ACRLung.
Celebrating 20 Years of ACR Appropriateness Criteria
This Year (2014) marks the 20th anniversary of the inception of ACR Appropriateness Criteria® (AC), commemorating two decades of evidence-based guidance for clinicians to order the right procedure at the right time for diagnostic imaging, interventional radiology, and radiology oncology. Today, the AC has become the most complete radiology guidance available. Check out some key AC milestones and facts below.
- In April 1993, former chair of the BOC Karl K. Wallace Jr., MD, FACR, testified before Congress that the ACR would take a leadership role in defining appropriate imaging for patients by developing practice guidelines. By 1994, early development of the AC had begun.
- Initial efforts included 10 panels of experts. Today, over 30 panels of experts work on the AC, covering 201 topics with more than 900 clinical scenarios.
- In 2000, the Appropriateness Criteria Task Force became the Committee on Appropriateness Criteria under the ACR Commission on Quality and Safety. Together, panel leaders and the committee chairs oversee the activities of the expert panels.
- In July 2012, the ACR entered an agreement with the National Decision Support Company to distribute and license the AC content in the clinical point-of-care decision support platform called ACR Select™.
- Today, the AC provides the most current and comprehensive evidence-based decision support content for appropriate diagnostic imaging. The AC are a critical resource in ensuring appropriate radiology utilization and enabling evidence- based recommendations.
For more information on the AC and ACR Select, visit http://www.acr.org/Quality-Safety/Appropriateness-Criteria.
Who Will You Nominate?
It’s time to submit your candidates for next year’s elected and selected positions. Among the open elected positions are president and vice president of the College; four positions on the BOC, three of which are held by incumbents eligible to run for a second term; four positions on the Council Steering Committee; three positions on the College Nominating Committee (CNC); and two member-in-training representatives to the Intersociety Conference. Additionally, the CNC will select a private-practice representative to the 2015 and 2016 Intersociety Conferences.
Tips for Your Toolkit
The College works hard to advocate on national and local levels for members, as well as to keep them in the know about any changes that might affect their practice. The weekly newsletter Advocacy in Action keeps all members informed of current legislative and regulatory activities. Members can visit the advocacy section of www.acr.org (http://bit.ly/ACREfforts) to learn about the ACR’s efforts on important issues, such as the sustainable growth rate and the multiple procedure payment reduction. The ACR also offers an interactive map to display important legislative issues by state (http://bit.ly/ACRStateMap) and how-to guides to help members looking to get involved in grassroots advocacy (http://bit.ly/acrgrassroots).
Naughty or Nice
Which list will CMS be on this holiday season?
Performance-based incentives are nothing new and are certainly not unique to health care.
The Bulletin follows up on some of its most popular articles and Imaging 3.0™ case studies.
Articles in the Bulletin often feature practices and physicians who have implemented strategies to help them stay ahead of the rest in a shifting health care system; they often showcase successes or lessons learned. But as everyone knows, those stories do not end once you’ve closed the pages of the Bulletin.
The Difficult Patient
Defusing challenging patient encounters requires the right balance of sensitivity and assertion.
It was late at night when a mother took her child to Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) with severe abdominal pain and abnormal stool. An ultrasound revealed that the child was suffering from an ileo-colonic intussusception and needed an emergency air enema.
Work in the Dark, Get Less Sleep
Here’s another reason to step out of the dark reading room: it might help you sleep better.
According to a recent study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, working in environments with no windows or little exposure to daylight causes individuals to lose an average of 46 minutes of sleep per night. The authors of the study — researchers from the University of Illinois, Northwestern University in Chicago, and the Hwa-Hsia Institute of Technology in Taiwan — monitored the sleep patterns of 49 workers. Half of the participants spent the day in mostly windowless environments, while the rest had frequent exposure to daylight through windows. Those who had the most work-time light exposure slept an average of 46 minutes more, reported better sleep and fewer disturbances, and were also more likely to exercise. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/WorkSleepStudy.
Tracing the movement to make electronic health records easier to share through health information exchanges — and finding the ways radiologists stand to benefit.
Mrs. Martin calls her primary care physician complaining of mild chest pains. Her physician refers her to an outpatient imaging facility near her home in Maryland, where she undergoes a CT exam.