It’s All About the Patient

The Economics Forum stressed fair payment and patient-centered care.

20180521 ACR18 dh 2472Ezequiel Silva III, MD, FACR, moderates the Economics Forum.

The Economics Forum kept true to course with focal points on upholding fee-for-service payments, navigating the ongoing (yet manageable) evolution of MACRA and the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA), as well as embracing population  health management.

The forum was moderated by ACR Economics Commission Chair Ezequiel Silva III, MD, FACR, and included both radiologists and patients.

Kurt A. Schoppe, MD, ACR advisor to the AMA/Relative Value Scale Update Committee and a radiologist with Radiology Associates of North Texas, plainly stated the reality of radiology’s payment dilemma. “As a specialty we have transformed modern medicine, but we require a lot of capital,” he said. “We need to maintain payments and new codes.”

Gregory N. Nicola, MD, FACR, chair of the ACR MACRA Committee, said that too often with federal regulation, it feels like traditional metrics are “measuring what we’re doing and not what we’re achieving.”
When it comes down to fair payments and cost, radiologists are seemingly accountable for the whole healthcare system. “With more changes to reimbursement still to come from Congress, it’s important to be diligent with your reimbursement accountability efforts,” he told the audience.

JACR® Associate Editor Andrea Borondy Kitts, MS, MPH, a lung cancer and patient advocate, consultant, and patient outreach and research specialist at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, called on ACR members to work with patients and their families during the healthcare process. “Working together, we can help patients understand their health conditions and become equal partners in their care,” she said.

New ACR BOC Chair Geraldine B. McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR, also stressed the importance of making radiology more patient-centered. “Our fundamentals are strong. We are not afraid of change. We need to tell a compelling story of why patient-centered care is better care to overcome the barriers to redesigning our workflows to include patient consultations,” she said.

Lauren P. Golding, MD, of Triad Radiology Associates in Winston-Salem, N.C., echoed that sentiment, suggesting that radiologists collaborate with team members outside their specialties to improve patient care. “The end destination for us is population health management and alternative payment models,” Golding said. “We can’t score goals in APMs unless we get out on the field.”

“The ACR is the voice of radiology. As the unified voice of more than 35,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, and medical physicists, we have power and influence,” said McGinty. “Let’s use that for the good of our patients.”


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