March 2018

How Do You Connect With the College?

Members can tailor their interactions with the ACR more than ever before, based on interests, career path, subspecialty, and more.

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Truly valuable organizations provide a community that allows dynamic access to information and interaction between members. The Internet has dramatically changed how all of us connect. And the ACR is keeping pace, offering members a variety of ways to interact in our College’s digital space: websites, social media, ACR Engage community discussions, and of course, email.

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Proper Coding of Diagnoses and New Payment Models

ICD-10 diagnosis codes inform risk adjustment, an increasingly important determinant of payment under the CMS Quality Payment Program.

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Billing for radiology services requires two main billing codes: Current Prodedural Terminology (CPT®) codes and ICD-10 diagnosis codes. CPT codes describe which service was done, and ICD-10 codes describe why it was done. For example, a brain MRI claim may include the CPT code for the MRI itself and the ICD-10 code for acute stroke. Historically, greater focus has been placed on accurate CPT codes to ensure maximal, but still compliant, payment. Diagnosis codes have been necessary, but the complexity and number of diagnosis codes associated with claims have not directly affected payment amounts. This circumstance is changing. Under new payment models, payment amounts can vary with the level of illness of patients, informed by ICD-10 diagnosis coding. This shift is relevant to radiology, since making diagnoses is at the core of what we do.

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Final Read

Soterios Gyftopoulos, MD, MSc

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Q: How did you choose your subspecialty?

I knew I wanted to be a musculoskeletal (MSK) radiologist during the first month of my residency. I was listening to a lecture on common fractures. The way the clinical history and underlying mechanisms of injury fit with the imaging instantly appealed to me. The way the imaging findings affected the patient’s treatment made MSK a no-brainer.

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Shaping Change From Within

Using R-SCAN®, a radiology group reduced inappropriate follow-up imaging by nearly 55 percent for patients with ovarian masses.

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When the radiology team at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Ill., began receiving feedback from referring clinicians — primarily OB/GYN and family medicine providers — about the possibility of inappropriate follow-up imaging recommendations for ovarian masses, they knew they needed immediate action. The solution came in the form of R-SCAN®, a collaborative action plan bringing radiologists and referring clinicians together to improve imaging appropriateness and streamline image ordering (www.rscan.org).

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Changing Imaging Across Borders

The ACR joins international partner organizations to boost radiology in Trinidad and Tobago

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Alexander R. Sinanan, MBBS, a specialist in clinical radiology and chair of the South West Regional Health Authority in Trinidad, observed that patients in his country were experiencing a problem with imaging services. Backlogs in radiology departments were causing extremely long patient wait times for both procedures and results.

“During the Zika virus outbreak, there were no formal protocols in existence for guiding the indications for requesting examinations,” says Sinanan. “Because there were no guidelines or protocols to guide the clinicians, the number of requests for obstetric ultrasounds increased, and the frequency with which these scans were being requested per pregnancy also increased. This led to inappropriate requests for imaging, which simply served to increase the already lengthy wait times for examinations.”

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Data Science and the JACR

The journal adds a new focus to help radiologists and patients thrive amid changes to the practice of medicine.

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In the March issue of the JACR®, you may notice something different on the cover. The four standing pillars that guide the content in the journal will be joined by a fifth
item: Data Science.

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Membership Matters

How does being an ACR member intersect with the College’s strategic plan?

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At the fall meeting of the ACR’s BOC and CSC in October, volunteer and staff leadership met to revise the ACR Strategic Plan. Specifically, the plan emphasized fostering meaningful member experiences and engagement, which was deemed to be among the most important goals to the current and future health of the ACR. Seven objectives were established in support of this goal:

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Blazing a Trail for Tomorrow

ACR recognizes leaders in the imaging community.

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Each year, the College bestows its highest honors — the ACR Gold Medal and Honorary Fellowship — upon leaders who have worked hard to advance the specialty and inspire others to continue the legacy of making meaningful contributions to radiology. Commendations will be awarded at the 2018 ACR Annual Meeting in May.
 

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Nominees for 2018 Positions

Look who's running for office.

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At ACR 2018, the ACR Council will vote on the following slate of candidates recommended by the College Nominating Committee (CNC).

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Playing It Safe

Radiology practices establish a culture that values the safety of its patients, as well as its employees.

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To err is human, approximately three percent of the time.1 That’s how often the average human will make a mistake while performing complex tasks. For radiologists — and the medical profession in general — the target error rate is much smaller.

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