The chair of the Board of Chancellors outlines priorities for the next two years.
As I looked over the attendees of our annual meeting this year, I was seized with a sense of excitement at the prospect of serving as chair of the Board of Chancellors. I am so proud of our organization, our specialty, and our members.
We accomplish amazing things each day as we strive to care for our patients and define our role within the changing health care system.
Now that I’ve begun my term as chair, I think of my primary function as that of an orchestra leader. By seeking the input of each member of the board, we will build a common vision through collaborative leadership.
You might be wondering, what sort of things are we are aiming for? There is certainly no shortage of important causes in radiology. One main focus of our efforts will be around value-based payments. While this has been on the ACR’s radar for some time, we received a wake-up call in 2015, when Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced some pretty daunting goals related to Medicare reimbursement:
By 2018, 90 percent of fee-for-service Medicare payments will be tied to quality or value.
By the end of 2016, 30 percent of Medicare payments will be tied to quality or value through alternative payment models, and 50 percent of payments by the end of 2018.
The good news is that tremendous efforts are already underway at the ACR to develop tools to help radiologists tackle these new challenges. The College is positioned to keep radiology practices at the leading edge as we enter this new reimbursement climate. Informatics tools are being developed to connect patient imaging data across multiple sites and standardize reporting. Clinical decision support for referring physicians, such as ACR Select® (based on the ACR Appropriateness Criteria®), is entering a growing number of institutions through the ACR’s R-SCAN initiative. Find out how you can partner with your referring colleagues to make a difference in patient care at rscan.org. Clinical decision support for radiologists, through ACR Assist™, promises to reduce variation in the recommendations that radiologists make consequent to clinically significant imaging findings. Together, these tools will reduce variation in our practices and increase the appropriateness of our services for better population health.
As chair, I plan to double down on these tools and ensure they scale to the entire practice of radiology. No matter your practice environment, the ACR will have tools and information to ease your transition to value-based care.
While at times it may feel like you’re just trying to survive the changes to the health care system, the Board of Chancellors’ goal is to help you thrive in this new world of reimbursement mechanisms. As your chair, I am committed to ensuring that your specialty organization has the tools and knowledge to help you care for your patients and navigate the world of value-based care. I know we are all up to the challenge!
By James A. Brink, MD, FACR, Chair