ACR Bulletin October 2018

Respect the Past, Embrace the Future

The ACR Commission on Breast Imaging will continue to prioritize
cost-effective, efficient care for every woman.

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I recently read Under Our Skin by NFL veteran tight end Benjamin Watson. U.S. District Judge Madeline H. Haikala (my former high school classmate) required all parties in a school desegregation case to read Watson’s autobiographical reflection on race in our country. Although there is much to ponder in Under Our Skin, I was particularly impressed by Watson’s sincere efforts to seek understanding by seeing the world through the eyes of those whose opinions differ from his own. As I outline my vision for the ACR Commission on Breast Imaging, I am not only shamelessly appropriating Watson’s format, but also trying to adopt at least some of his philosophy.

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Final Read

Michael Booker

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Q: How do you approach conversations about medical issues with family members?

A family member recently had a series of imaging studies performed and asked me to clarify a few findings in the report. Many were boilerplate for people their age (fat containing inguinal hernias, white matter hypertensive change, multilevel degenerative disc disease), but they generated apprehension and anxiety. I wish we, as radiologists, had a better way to communicate to patients when we think findings are normal — or at least fairly normal — the same way I was able to do with this individual. 

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The Road Well Traveled

Three radiologists look back on their experience with the ACR Foundation’s Goldberg-Reeder Travel Grant.

6Andrew Olsen, DO, discusses an ultrasound result with Dr. Ruth Phiri.

The ACR Foundation’s Goldberg-Reeder Travel Grant Program is designed to facilitate radiology knowledgesharing, while assisting health facilities with radiological care in low- and middle-income countries. The latest group of recipients brought their skills, expertise, and energy to Zambia, Tanzania, and Namibia, where they worked with local colleagues and patients to advance radiological care. Fresh from their travels, the recipients shared their insights and experiences with the Bulletin.

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Passing the Baton

The outgoing editor of the JACR® reflects on how the journal has carved out a unique niche in the radiology community.

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After launching the JACR® and spending 15 years at the helm, Bruce J. Hillman, MD, FACR, will be stepping down as editor-in-chief at the end of this year. The former chair of radiology at the University of Virginia talked with the ACR Bulletin about the journal’s early days, the evolution of the specialty, and his plans for what comes next.

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Medical Judgment Can Be “False” Under False Claims Act

Some federal courts recently have ruled that physicians may be accountable legally for providing unneeded patient care — and falsely claiming such care was needed.

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ACR members confront medical necessity daily. Should a patient undergo a diagnostic study, interventional or breast imaging procedure or radiation therapy? Some federal courts recently have ruled that physicians may be accountable legally for providing unneeded patient care — and falsely claiming such care was needed. These cases appear to have unusual facts that make them distinguishable. Yet they signal that judges may agree with prosecutors in looking behind your medical judgments. The following article sheds light on the situation and is reprinted with our colleagues’ permission.

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Revealing the Truth

 

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Radiologists battle misinformation and speak up for their patients.

Radiologists know screening is important. There is strong evidence that screening for cancers —lung, colorectal, and breast, among others— catches these diseases early, making them easier to defeat. Yet the numbers of patients who come in for these procedures, even when eligible, remains low. In 2016, less than 2 percent of those eligible for lung cancer screening underwent the procedure, and screening rates for diseases such as breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers also remain below federal target rates.

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Radiology’s History of Independence

How did our profession become free within payment systems?

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Independence Day commemorates our country’s Declaration of Independence from Great Britain’s rule. That decision to become an independent nation has stood the test of time. The United States of America is now the oldest enduring republic in the history of the world. Similarly, the specialty of radiology has itself declared independence several times during its history. Granted, the stakes were lower, but in each instance that decision has also stood the test of time. As a result, radiologists have been the beneficiaries of the ACR’s vision, and radiology is a robust, rewarding, and influential profession.

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