JACR Highlights – March 2018
The Ides of March
JACR Special Issue: Data Science March 2018
Anytime there is a Special Issue edition of the JACR, I feel compelled as a reader to spend additional time and consideration to the articles that have been published for that edition. This compilation of special articles is typically carried out to reflect a specific and more narrowed center of focus regarding a topic which is upfront and/or critical to the present and future of radiology as a field. The recent creation of the ACR Data Sciences Institute symbolizes an important investment of the ACR to make sure that the field of radiology stays in the forefront with changes and innovations that are certain to occur in the near future. Innovations to radiology workflows are not an uncommon event even when looking back into the near recent past with the adaption of PACS and dictation software. Though I am still in training and have embarked on studying for the Core, I have set time aside in both my past and future so that I can pay special attention to the articles published in this Special Edition issue as many of these topics will likely directly affect how I will practice in the near future.
Advanced Imaging Utilization and Cost Savings Among Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations: An Initial Exploratory Analysis
The topic of MIPS, MACRA, and affordable care organizations seems to have fallen by the wayside in conversations and online discussion over the past few months. This may be partially due to the growing excitement and emphasis on AI and Big Data topics. While reading this article, I was reminded how important understanding these future changes will be. The further immersed and more aware I become with the intricacies of these new payment structures, the more I am reminded that we are in need of champions to understand these changes. If you are able to stay up to date and knowledgeable with these changes, you will be a very marketable addition to the radiology workforce when it’s your time to begin interviewing.
Breast Cancer Screening in Women at Higher- Than-Average Risk
Breast cancer is still the leading cancer in women and has such a personal component to most of those that you know. Breast cancer screening recommendations and opinions can change so frequently that it is important to keep well informed and well versed on the topic so that you can guide and recommend the appropriate screening steps for the daughter, wife, sisters, mothers, and other women in our lives. There is a specific portion of the population that cannot be treated the same because of specific modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors that stratify them into a higher risk group in order to make sure they are being screened appropriately. This article does a great job of outlining some background basics and then defining the current recommendations for those women who are stratified into that higher risk population.
Wither Nuclear Medicine: A JACR Point/Counterpoint
I do always enjoy an article with a little healthy controversy and nothing shouts controversy more than a point and counterpoint post. The topic of Nuclear Medicine is an interesting focus in this month’s edition of point and counterpoint.
Civil Discourse | Faculty Relative Value Unit Incentives and Resident Education
“You implemented a clinical revenue value unit (RVU)–based faculty incentive plan in your department 6 months ago. Since then, faculty members have become reluctant to give resident conferences and teach in the reading rooms. Resident evaluations of the training program are plummeting. The residency program director comes to you to discuss concerns about decreased teaching. As the department chair, what would you do?” I am sure that this very question is being asked in practices all across the country this very day. The ability to track and compare the productivity of each radiologist and set specific clinical RVU benchmarks in a given day is likely felt by each and every one of you at a given point in your training so far. Should there be allowances given to teaching faculty so that they may utilize the “teaching RVU” that will substitute the clinical RVU? After all, aren’t they training the future of the field of radiology and shouldn’t they also be rewarded if this is what they are passionate about?
Diversity Matters | Overcoming Health Disparities in the United States: The Value Imperative for Healthier Populations
There is no understating the importance of establishing fair and equal access to healthcare no matter the race, gender, ethnicity or age. How do we overcome the troubling disparities that we are becoming increasingly aware of today so that all our future generations can benefit from advances in medicine and extension of life expectancy. Though we as radiologists are less aware of these disparities due to the insulation our reading rooms provide, we are still a part of this culture. The only way that we can help end such disparities in healthcare is by becoming aware of them and making sure that we don’t contribute to them.
Christopher Mutter, DO, ACR-RFS Secretary and Diagnostic Radiology Resident at Spectrum Health Michigan State University College of Human Medicine