What Is Surprise Billing? (And Why Should You Care?)

Surprise insurance gaps are causing patients to walk away with unexpectedly high medical bills. What causes this, and how can radiologists help?

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With headlines like, “Trouble Shooters Help Local Woman Reduce 'Surprise Medical Bill' by $22,000,” the practice of so-called “surprise billing” has garnered a lot of attention lately. States around the country are passing legislation to confront surprise billing. At the federal level, both the president and Congress have expressed frustration on this topic. There are currently multiple proposals in both houses of Congress to meet the challenge. So what is surprise billing (and why should you care)?

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ACR Weekend Reads: Women's Health Month

 

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? May is Women's Health Month; check out these ACR Weekend Reads which feature journal studies, articles and case studies relevant to women's health.

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ACR Weekend Reads: Patient Experience Week

 

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? It's Patient Experience Week; check out these ACR Weekend Reads on all things patient-related in the radiology community!

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ACR Weekend Reads: Interventional Radiology

 

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? Learn more about the field of IR with these ACR Weekend Reads.

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The goal of direct patient communication is a paradigm shift toward patient-centered care that demonstrates the added value of the radiologist. As imaging experts and doctors, radiologists must strive to connect with patients so they understand how the specialty fits into the healthcare value chain.

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ACR 2019: A Preview of RFS Programming

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We are less than two months away from ACR 2019 and things are taking shape. Your RFS Executive Committee has put together a fantastic program for May 18 and 19 that will be great for first-timers and seasoned veterans alike. There is no registration fee for RFS members to attend.

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Reaching Out to Patients

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The following is a summary of what we have learned through face-to-face patient communication in the embedded Head and Neck (H&N) reading room within the ENT clinic at Emory Hospital. While these patient encounters have convinced us that such communication is best for radiologists, referrers, and patients, we also acknowledge some obstacles and concerns over implementing the practice.

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Case of the Year

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In medicine, a diagnosis is not always straightforward. Many diseases or conditions can present in various ways, depending on the circumstances. So how do you train for the uncommon presentations?

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ACR Weekend Reads: Teamwork

 

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? Check out these ACR Weekend Reads to learn about harnessing the power of the team and how collaboration can elevate your practice.

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ACR Weekend Reads: Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

 

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, so check out these ACR Weekend Reads featuring content surrounding colorectal screening.

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ACR Weekend Reads: Population Health Management

 

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? Check out these ACR Weekend Reads on the timely topic of Population Health Management and learn about what radiologists can do to improve the health of patient populations while reducing costs and becoming more efficient at the same time.

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Underlying Complications

Price transparency may not control costs, so why does it matter?

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There has already been much ado over the new CMS policy, which went into effect on January 1st, requiring all hospitals to post pricing information online. Superficially, this is a win for patients and their advocates. As with everything in healthcare, however, reality is not so simple. The vast majority of price lists are difficult to find and generally incomprehensible to the average layperson. Additionally, chargemaster prices for hospitals are often meaningless for patients with third-party insurance, as payors negotiate privately and aggressively with hospitals regarding what they will ultimately reimburse for a given service.

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RO Corner: A Letter to Fourth-Year
Medical Students

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As we approach that time of year when rank list submissions are due, I wanted to offer my two cents to fourth-year students who are about to enter the field of radiation oncology.

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ACR Weekend Reads: Black History Month

 

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? In honor of Black History Month, check out these ACR Weekend Reads for a pulse check on the status of diversity and inclusion in radiology.

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ACR Weekend Reads: QPP

 

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? Take a look at these ACR Weekend Reads (and a bonus video!) on the Quality Payment Program (QPP) and get some insight from experts into what it means for you and your practice.

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My “Amazing Amis” Fellowship Experience

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Through my physician journey, I have come to realize that I am driven by the desire to deliver high-quality care, while providing exceptional patient experiences. Breast imaging, more than any other specialty, not only encourages me in my pursuit but also expects me to pursue these aims. I have been involved in multiple quality improvement and patient safety initiatives as a radiology resident at the Augusta University Medical Center, which subsequently led me to apply to the ACR’s E. Stephen Amis, Jr., MD, Fellowship in Quality and Safety.

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Reflections From a Moorefield Fellow

Zachary JengMy introduction to the economic aspects of healthcare began early in medical school. While I had no previous economics or business experience (I was a history major during college), I was quite fortunate that Baylor College of Medicine offered a business and medicine elective during my first year. I will admit that, initially, a large draw was the generous amount of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches provided during each class. However, our professor proved to be an extremely engaging speaker, with his experience as an insurance executive allowing him to provide a truly unique perspective on the intersection of business and medicine. I still remember how he remarked that in the financial world, doctors are known for their “high income, no business sense.”

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ACR Weekend Reads: Strategic Planning

 

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? Kick off the New Year with these ACR Weekend Reads on the importance of strategic planning  and organizational strategy in radiology.

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ACR Weekend Reads: R-SCAN

 

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? Check out these ACR Weekend Reads on R-SCAN® --the ACR Radiology Support, Communications and Alignment Network -- and how it empowers radiolo­gists to take the first step in building a collaborative and consultative relationship with their referring clini­cians, provide better patient care at lower cost, reduce errors and unnecessary imaging, and improve quality and safety.

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ACR Weekend Reads: Time Management

 

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? Check out these ACR Weekend Reads on time management and how to improve productivity and quality of life.

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ACR Weekend Reads: International Efforts

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? Check out these ACR Weekend Reads surrounding the work that ACR and its members do to learn about and help improve radiology services worldwide.

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ACR Weekend Reads: Lung Cancer Screening

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? During this Lung Cancer Awareness Month, check out these ACR Weekend Reads featuring discussions, studies, and stories involving lung cancer screening today.

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ACR Weekend Reads: Breast Imaging

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? During this Breast Cancer Awareness Month, check out these ACR Weekend Reads featuring case studies, stories and discussions around breast imaging today.

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Just How Much Does That Imaging Study Cost?

As patients shoulder a larger share of their healthcare spending, the executive director of one radiology practice wonders how quality can be incorporated into imaging decisions.

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Without a doubt, patients are shouldering a larger portion of their healthcare spending these days. This takes the form of higher premiums, deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. In my role as the executive director of Grand Traverse Radiologists, PC, I have observed that, as a result of these higher costs, patients are beginning to demand greater price transparency — a trend that is also borne out in the literature.

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ACR Weekend Reads: Women in Radiology

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? Check out these ACR Weekend Reads for various perspectives on the ever-changing climate for women in radiology.

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The Future of Medical Imaging

 

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The ACR Annual Conference on Quality and Safety will highlight the role of AI and informatics in radiology.

Top quality and data science experts will convene to share the latest tools and insights on how AI can be used to optimize business efficiencies and high-level patient care at the 2018 ACR Conference on Quality and Safety. This year’s meeting — to be held in Boston, October 26–28 — will mark the 10th anniversary of ACR’s quality and safety gathering.

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ACR Weekend Reads: AI

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? Check out these ACR Weekend Reads on the burgeoning relevance of AI in the field of radiology and how radiologists can best equip themselves for change.

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ACR Weekend Reads: Emotional Intelligence

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? Check out these ACR Weekend Reads on the key role emotional intelligence plays in a fulfilling and successful radiology career.

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ACR Weekend Reads: Diversity

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? Check out these ACR Weekend Reads on an inventory on the current state of diversity in radiology, what some leaders are doing to address it, and tips for improving it within your own workplace.

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ACR Weekend Reads: Burnout

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? Check out these ACR Weekend Reads surrounding the exigent topic of burnout: what it is, how it affects patients and radiologists, what other radiologists are doing to address it, and what you can do to avoid it.

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ACR Weekend Reads: Honing Leadership Skills

 

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? Check out these ACR Weekend Reads which include stories, studies, and strategies surrounding optimal leadership in your field.

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Preparing for RSNA 2018

First time attending the big meeting in Chicago? Here are some tips for new attendees.

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Winter is coming… along with the largest medical conference of the year. For the first-timer, the RSNA meeting overwhelms the senses. Vendors arrange the newest equipment on plush carpet that will soon to trampled by thousands of healthcare professionals from around the world. Academic elites clash with the titans of industry. How does the junior resident or medical student survive? Below are few tips from a resident insider to assist you in planning your trip to the Windy City this November.

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Radiation Oncology Corner: Preventing Resident Burnout

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A new academic year is upon us and with it comes the excitement of new colleagues and mentors, advancement to a more senior level, and an increase in responsibilities. The effects of resident burnout have been well-documented in several journals and often linked to long hours in high-stress environments that we have little control over. The results of such emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and depersonalization are poor work performance, which can negatively affect patient care. Most of these studies have evaluated burnout in the fields of internal medicine, family medicine, and various surgical subspecialties. In oncology specifically, it has been noted that rates of physician burnout continue to be high.

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ACR Weekend Reads: Report to the Patient
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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? Check out these ACR Weekend Reads on the benefits of structured and readable report writing for you, your practice, and your patients.

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ACR Weekend Reads: Social Media

 

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? Check out these ACR Weekend Reads on how social media can help radiologists forge relationships with their colleagues, referring physicians, and patients.

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My Rutherford-Lavanty Fellowship Experience

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In June, I had the honor of traveling to Washington, D.C., as part of the ACR Rutherford-Lavanty fellowship in government relations. This prestigious fellowship offers radiology residents a rare opportunity to experience, first-hand, how healthcare policies are formed in our nation’s capital. Named in honor of the first ACR lobbyist, J.T. Rutherford, and Donald F. Lavanty, ACR’s principal legislative consultant for 42 years, the fellowship began in 1993 and close to 200 enthusiastic radiology residents have participated in the program. On average, three to eight radiology residents serve as fellows, spending one week at the ACR’s government relations office working with staff on current healthcare issues affecting the specialty.

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2018 AMA Annual Meeting Recap

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While radiologists are increasingly showing their willingness to advocate on behalf of their specialty, there are issues of a certain scope and scale that demand that the entire house of medicine work in concert. When legislators and their constituents want to hear from doctors as a whole, the AMA — the largest single physician organization in the U.S. — is relied upon to craft and communicate a response. That is what the AMA House of Delegates (HOD) — composed of over 500 representatives from every level of training and specialty — sought to do at the recent AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago.

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Radiation Oncology Corner

Social Media in the RO Community

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I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Miriam A. Knoll, MD, a radiation oncologist at the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center. We discussed the topic of social media and its importance in the field of radiation oncology. Despite its significant impact on our field, many have been slow to adopt social media as a tool.  Knoll has been very successful in using it, and has valuable insights into the topic. Follow Miriam A. Knoll, MD on Twitter @MKnoll_MD and on Instagram @Dr.Mimi.K.

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SIIM 2018


Here’s What You Missed

 

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Given all the recent hype surrounding informatics, anticipation for the 2018 Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) conference in Washington, D.C., was high. Attendees may have had visions of terminator robots repurposed to produce diagnostic reports, holographic virtual reality reading rooms, or computers that detected blood products in the skull faster than humans dancing in their heads. It may have come as only a mild disappointment, then, for them to discover only one of those was unveiled at SIIM.

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YPS: 2017-2018 Executive Committee Update

 

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The ACR YPS consists of members of the College who are either under the age of 40 or within their first eight years of practice following the completion of training. The YPS comprises over 6,000 members and is represented by a seven-member executive committee that is elected by those members attending the College’s annual meeting each May. The members of the Executive Committee (EC) for the 2017-2018 term were:

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ACR Weekend Reads: Patient-Centered Care

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Looking for content to peruse with your coffee this weekend? Check out these ACR Weekend Reads on the importance of patient-centered care in radiology.

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Radiation Oncology Corner: A New Year

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I am excited and honored to be the RFS’ new radiation oncology representative over the next year! I hope to bring fun and relevant topics to you all each month to help shed light on hot button topics, or simply engage with leaders across our field to gain new insight and perspective!

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ACR 2018: A First-Time Attendee’s Perspective

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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

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ACR-RFS Goes to Washington

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ACR 2018 Hill Day was the perfect way to punctuate an incredibly successful meeting. Hundreds of residents and fellows traveled to Washington, D.C., for a dizzying five days of programming, including hearing from the smartest and most fearless minds in radiology, querying expert panels, electing brand new leadership, and reuniting with old friends and meeting countless others. The meeting culminated with us joining our respective state caucuses, donning our most persuasive business attire, and heading to Capitol Hill.

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