RFS news highlights resources, issues, and news relevant to in-training members of the ACR. If you have a topic idea or would like to contribute to the blog, please email RFS Secretary Patricia Balthazar, MD.




ACR Resident and Fellow Journal Club Meeting Recap

Find out about the most recent meeting and what you missed. Don't miss the next one, scheduled for November 16, 2017.


An ACR Resident and Fellow Journal Club meeting was held October 19, 2017. The focus of the meeting was to discuss possible scenarios in which diagnostic/interventional radiologists may be evaluated under the cost category under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) track of the Quality Payment Program (QPP).


Our featured guest, Joshua Hirsch, MD, FACR, FSIR, from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), spoke on the topic of “Medicare Care Costs and Spending Under MACRA.” Dr. Hirsch is considered one of the fathers of minimally invasive spine surgery and is extensively published in peer-reviewed literature. He serves in several leadership positions at MGH including serving as vice chair and service line chief for interventional radiology. He is actively participating with the American College of Radiology (ACR) and has been appointed to the CMS Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) Episode Care Groups and Resource Use Measures Clinical Committee, among other achievements, appointments, and accolades.

Dr. Hirsch’s presentation included a discussion regarding a recently published article on the JACR entitled, “Radiologists May Now be Accountable for Containing Medicare Costs and Spending under MACRA,” an article co-authored by Drs. Rosenkrantz, Hirsch, Silva, and Nicola. The article discusses the cost category under MIPS and its associated measures. Dr. Hirsch provided a general overview of MACRA, QPP, and MIPS to provide additional insight on the cost category. In summary, if the diagnostic or interventional radiologist involved in a patient’s care bills for a greatest fraction of the patient’s Medicare spending during hospitalization (such as in the case of a patient presenting with trauma or TIA, for example), that radiologist may potentially be scored on cost and compared with expected spending levels based on national data. We also learned through the discussion how reporting individually or as a group under MIPS can affect evaluation under the cost category. This discussion enlightened us towards being mindful in our participation with quality, cost-containing, and efficient patient care.

The October 19 session was recorded and is available for viewing now.

Cortez James

James V. Cortez, MD, co-chief resident, department of radiological sciences, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City




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