MACRA and QPP are here. Are you ready to drive change, but don't know how or where to start?
With fast-approaching deadlines, the mandate for transformation to value-based radiology is more urgent than ever before. The trouble is many smaller and mid-sized practices are still struggling with implementing the principles and practices of Imaging 3.0®.
The Road Less Traveled
Find a path to patient-centered radiology by following in the footsteps of Imaging 3.0® leaders.
Robert Frost, one of America's most-celebrated poets, once said, "Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."
A North Carolina radiology practice has developed a regional imaging strategy around advanced IT solutions.
When reimbursement cuts began about a decade ago, Greensboro Radiology, a private practice in Greensboro, N.C., knew health care was evolving. And the practice's leaders recognized that to survive in the era of value-based care, they'd have to evolve, too.
A Human Touch
Putting a face on radiology, one encounter at a time.
Sometimes the brightest results come out of the darkest times. A cancer diagnosis can drive anyone to despair.
What’s a PTN and Why Should I Get Involved?
You may have heard (read: you’ve definitely heard unless you live under a rock) about value-based care lately. “Value” is a hard term to nail down, but it’s not just a buzzword.
Taking the Lead
Samir B. Patel, MD, created a document to safeguard his practice’s contract. What he didn’t realize is he’d started a national conversation on value.
It's a challenge all of health care is facing right now — how do you define value? At its most basic level, valuable means being worth something to someone.
Ten Years Later
What will the radiologist’s job description look like in a decade?
“Change is certain, success is not.” At least that’s what Richard Duszak Jr., MD, FACR, professor and vice chair for health policy and practice in the department of radiology and imaging sciences at Emory University in Atlanta, often tells his colleagues. The statement is a play on a quote from historian E.H. Carr: “Change is certain, progress is not.”
A Combined Approach
Radiologists are working with their colleagues to improve the patient experience through initiatives big and small.
When her husband, Nick, was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer in 2004, Jennifer L. Kemp, MD, FACR, diagnostic radiologist and body imaging subspecialist at Diversified Radiology in Denver, thought she knew what to expect. By then Kemp had been a private practice radiologist for seven years, experience she thought would make navigating her husband’s care — including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and imaging — seem like second nature.
Walking the Walk
The newest ACR commission is setting out to revolutionize patient care. In the inaugural meeting in Augusta, GA, members got a crash course in what the future of health care might look like.
“The way you have to teach patient- and family-centered care is by bringing the patient into the room.”
— Pat Sodomka, pioneer of patient-centered care
Getting the Word Out
With health care becoming increasingly consumer driven, how do you market your practice to both patients and referring clinicians?
The tiny town of Lovettsville, Va., boasts a population of 1,801 — only one of whom is a general practitioner. Because of the town’s size, campaigns for preventative health practices such as mammography were scarce. Until, that is, one of the residents was diagnosed with breast cancer.
A Simple Connection
To foster patient engagement, radiologists should put their contact information in their imaging reports.
As health care moves toward quality, radiologists are looking for ways to provide added value and engage patients. While some practices have instituted consultation services and other programs that give radiologists face time with patients, many groups don’t have the resources for such initiatives. And that’s okay.
New Year's Resolutions: Round 2
What will you do this year to become a better radiologist?
Last month, I challenged each of us to embark on a set of professional resolutions for 2016. Since then, I’ve begun new efforts to make my practice more patient centered. Now I’m launching two more resolutions for the new year. I hope you’ll join me in taking a look at our practices and our specialty and charting a course of constant improvement for ourselves, for our health systems, and especially for our patients.
The Perfect Radiology Report
For the greatest impact on patient care, radiologists must write clear and concise reports.
It might be tough to imagine now, but referring physicians used to visit radiology reading rooms daily to review film-based images and talk with radiologists about exam findings.
Is Co-Management the Future of Health Care?
A recent Imaging 3.0 case study charts one practice’s strategy for adapting to the future of health care.
As we all know, the current health care system is continually changing. We’re seeing more direct employment of physicians by hospitals, new payment models, and increasing demands for more efficient and cost-effective health care. In this dynamic health care climate, the ultimate focus for an organization revolves around the patient’s experience, quality of care delivered, and cost.
(Slightly Belated) New Year’s Resolutions
What will you do this year to become a better radiologist?
Although January is usually the time for New Year’s resolutions, I decided to wait until February before discussing them. I wanted to give everyone time get moving on goals to lose weight, eat heathier, exercise more, or learn a new language. These are all noble resolutions, but they only relate to our personal lives. How many times do we make resolutions about our professional life? I’m not sure I have ever done it.
Michael J. Kasotakis, MD
Q:What does the radiologist of the future look like?
In the past, a radiologist’s value may have hinged on one or two attributes.
Interruption or Opportunity?
Radiologists must handle (and embrace) interruptions throughout the workday.
Thinking that the phone rang “way too much,” John-Paul J. Yu, MD, PhD, neuroradiology fellow at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center, and his colleagues tracked the number of telephone calls the center’s on-call radiologists completed during a 90-day period in 2012. The information revealed that on-call radiologists handled a deluge of calls during that window — 10,378 to be exact.
Getting Specific About Patient-Centered Care
The chair of ACR’s newest commission looks at where radiology fits into value-based health care.
For my column this month, I spoke with James V. Rawson, MD, FACR, about his latest role at the ACR, as chair of the brand new Commission on Patient Experience. I’ve worked with Jim for several years in his role as chair of our Committee on the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) and treasure him as a colleague and friend.
The Value of ACR Membership
A Call to Action
With over 37,000 members, there are many reasons to join the ACR. While each benefit adds to the collective value of ACR membership, two characteristics distinguish the College among radiological organizations: foresight and leadership.
Making your practice safe for transgender patients requires subtle yet vital considerations.
In 2011, the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce published a report analyzing the current state of discrimination against transgender individuals in the United States. They found that 25 percent of the surveyed group of transgender people experienced some form of harassment in a medical setting.
We Started a Radiology Consultation Clinic
One institution shares its experience offering patient consultations with radiology residents.
At Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), radiology residents are on the frontlines of patient care, rounding with primary care physicians to speak with patients about imaging results. Colin M. Segovis, MD, PhD, RFS secretary, talked with Mark D. Mangano, MD, chief resident in radiology at MGH, to get the scoop on how the clinic came about and which metrics radiologists are collecting to demonstrate the clinic’s value.
Seeking Out the C-Suite
As health care shifts, now is the time to establish relationships with your system leaders.
Radiologists are interacting more broadly in their health systems, and they shouldn’t forget the health system’s leadership, which includes titles like the CEO, CMO, and CFO (hence the term “C-suite”).
Connecting With Colleagues
Referring physicians and radiologists are working together more closely than ever. How can physician collaboration boost patient care?
The radiologist’s increased role in the care team will bring more opportunities to provide value in interactions with referring physicians.
As patient interaction increases, how can radiologists improve communication to ensure appropriate care and maximize value?
As you may have noticed in your practice, patients today increasingly expect to understand and make decisions about the health care they are receiving.
Introducing the August Special Stakeholder Issue
Learn how to connect and add value for various stakeholders with tips from stakeholder leaders.
"It's hard to place the patient at the center of health care if you're standing there yourself." - James V. Rawson, MD, FACR
Making a Difference
One New York City radiologist bucks convention to establish a patient rounding program at her hospital.
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We understand instinctively that all that glitters is not gold. Roundtrip airfare to Paris for just $150? Sure. A subscription to Wired for the one-time low cost of ten cents per month? We start looking for the strings.
Why Hiring Women and Minorities is Good For Your Practice
Prioritizing diversity isn't just a good ethical principle — it's good business sense.
What do companies like MasterCard, IBM, and Dell have in common? They’re all successful organizations that make it a point to promote diversity in their hiring practices.
Everything in Its Place
One North Carolina practice establishes a business case for structured reports.
“Rigor” is not a word most people associate with eastern North Carolina. Known more for its laid-back, friendly attitude and proximity to the ocean, it’s a place where the pace of life is often a little slower. However, in this place of perpetual sunshine, one practice has streamlined its workflow into machine-like precision, helping its referring clinicians — and the practice’s bottom line — in the process.
Ronald J. Boucher, MD
Q: How does your practice demonstrate the principles of Imaging 3.0™?
As a battlefield radiologist in Kandahar, Afghanistan, I was privileged to serve as chief of radiology on a multinational and multidisciplinary team. Serving during a war reinforced to me how critical Imaging 3.0 principles are to the success of health care. Our radiologists inserted themselves at the beginning of the care process for trauma patients, determining whether the patient needed to go directly to the operating room or get further CT evaluations.
A Horse of a Different Color
Imaging 3.0TM leaders reflect on physician payment reform and its effects on radiology.
Henry Ford had a famous saying: "If I'd asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Ford was referring to Model Ts, but he may as well have been talking about radiology.
Creating Your Brand, Radiology-style
Build your practice’s image with these branding tips.
Radiologists face a struggle in today’s current health care climate. How can they promote value-based care, and how do they stand out against other specialties that now offer imaging services?
Dreaming the Impossible
How can radiologists look past the current difficulties in their specialty?
In the musical play Man of La Mancha, the delusional idealist Don Quixote is asked why he does the ridiculous things he does. Before breaking into the iconic song “The Impossible Dream,” he responds simply, “I come in a world of iron … to make a world of gold.”1
The Network Effect
A practice in Chambersburg forges a connection with health care stakeholders through education.
Did you know that Confederate soldiers headed to fight in the Battle of Gettysburg camped out the night before in a town called Chambersburg, Pennsylvania? Neither did I before traveling there. A small town of around 20,000 residents, Chambersburg is located in the Cumberland Valley beside the Appalachian Mountains. Tucked into this valley is an eight-person radiology practice called Chambersburg Imaging Associates (CIA). After hearing great things about CIA’s “Radiology Education/Interactive Team,” I took a trip up Route 81 to learn more about their approach.
The word "Value" is everywhere. But what does it mean to different groups across the health care spectrum?
Building a Better Team
Members of the care team provide tips for strong partnerships.
Every team has a common goal. For a sports team, it could be winning the big game. For a school group, it’s likely acing that big presentation. But in medicine, the common goal is always the patient’s well-being. For the patient care team, teamwork helps assure that the patient receives the best quality care. That’s why it’s important for radiologists to work well with other health care professionals to ensure the proper diagnosis and treatment.
For years, radiologists and their partnering hospitals have operated on separate tracks. With the advent of RIS and PACS, radiologists have generally interacted less directly with referring physicians, hospital administrators, and patients than in the past. This “hands-off” model has led to the view among many in health care that radiologists are peripheral to the delivery of high-quality patient care.
While most radiology practices were completely digital by the year 2000, Chinese Hospital’s radiology department in San Francisco still operated like a small-town clinic. The practice had neither a PACS nor a RIS. Instead, all of its appointments were written on desktop calendars, its records were printed and filed in jackets, and its films were stored in 27 different locations throughout Chinatown. On top of that, the department was over capacity. Patients waited months for ultrasounds and hours for walk-in X-rays — and no one was happy.
Imaging 3.0™: Where Are We Now?
Taking stock as the radiology wide initiative takes hold and transforms the specialty
In last october's column, I wrote about how Imaging 3.0™ had taken hold across the profession. A year later, I'm pleased to report that it is embedding itself in our culture and informing every activity of the College.
One Specialty, Two Approaches
ACR and RSNA programs lead the way in patient-centered care.
We've heard the clarion call: Health care's new economics require all providers to transition from volume-based to value-based care. For radiologists, that means shifting our practice paradigm from transactional to consultative and focusing on both interpretation and outcomes.
Future by Design
Imaging 3.0™ and the future of the profession dominate the economics session of AMCLC.
As part of Tuesday's AMCLC programming, ACR leadership presented the economics program and armed members with the tools to thrive in the changing health care environment.
Walking the Talk
A Rhode Island interventional radiology group heeds the call to become a full-fleged clincial care practice.
During an American College of Surgery meeting in 1968, the man known as the father of interventional radiology, Charles T. Dotter, MD, warned that if radiologists didn’t begin to provide clinical care, they would eventually become nothing more than “high-priced plumbers.”
Radiologists nationwide breathe life into Imaging 3.0™.
Imaging 3.0™ was launched at the 2013 AMCLC as a way for radiologists to demonstrate their value in the new health-care world. Now, five months later, where are we in telling and living this important story?