Value Above All
The ACR Annual Conference on Quality and Safety assesses radiology's value in an ever-changing health system.
The importance of demonstrating and expanding value as radiologists was the central theme of the ACR Annual Conference on Quality and Safety, held in Boston this past October.
A Doctor's Dilemma
Should we treat patients like our family — or treat our family like patients?
Treat each patient as if they are your family. We hear this wisdom taught in medical school classrooms, whispered in ward corridors, and echoed in our own heads.
Why Do You Ask?
Collecting accurate and actionable data starts with a patient-centric strategy.
Patient surveys aren't new, take precious time, and may not always reveal actionable results.
Why Should Radiologists Use a Certified Coder?
An ACR coding expert explains the ins and outs of this radiology-specific certification.
Physicians know that accurate coding can be critical to a practice's survival. If you under-code, there's lost revenue. If you over-code, you run the risk of possible fraud and abuse charges.
Slowing the Burn
Radiologists search for strategies to thrive in a demanding environment.
Whoever said it’s better to burn out than to fade away probably wasn’t receiving care from a medical professional suffering from burnout.
"My Aching Back!"
Referring clinicians and radiologists come together to incorporate the low back pain guidelines into their patients' care.
When a patient comes into a clinic for lumbar spine pain, do referring physicians know exactly what to do? Should they order an imaging exam? Which imaging modality should be used to get the best result?
To Whom It May Concern
With growing numbers of patients accessing their radiology reports, it matters more than ever what you say — and how you say it.
Radiologists have long written reports with other physicians in mind. But as more patients gain access to their imaging reports, radiologists need to embrace this changing audience and create a new kind of impression.
Q: How do you increase public awareness of radiology?
When I chose to pursue radiology, my mentors tried to dissuade me, warning I would sit in a dark room and never see patients.
IT Manager: The Invisible Conductor
Radiology IT managers and their teams can position groups for success under Imaging 3.0® and MACRA.
When the radiologists at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, Mass., log into their workstations, they unlock an integrated suite of clinical management systems that includes their workflow manager, PACS, voice recognition system, a summary of the relevant electronic medical record (EMR) database, and a host of contextual communication, peer review, and quality reporting tools.
Join the Narrative
Exchanging stories with your patients can transform your practice.
If ever there was an appropriate cliché in medicine, it's that there are two sides to every story. In radiology, your story can help connect you with your patients.
What You Mean to Population Health
How will shifting health care models affect radiology's role in patient care?
Fifteen years ago, population health was a "relatively new term, not yet precisely defined." Today, population health — and more specifically population health management — is on most medical specialists' minds, even if they aren't sure exactly how it will affect their practices and their patients.
Radiologists and Internet Transparency: You Can Run but You Cannot Hide
Do you know what your patients are posting about you? It's time to look.
Locked away in dark reading rooms, insulated from patients and referring physicians, radiologists can nearly double their RVU production — and that translates into a hefty income differential. Working in isolation, it might seem, can be quite lucrative.
How do you define value in your daily practice?
Value, quality, cost: these are somewhat amorphous terms trumpeted routinely in the context of the recently passed Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act.
The Time is Now
Improve your time management skills with these pro tips.
There's no time like the present. However, when you're a radiologist tasked with clinical, administrative, research, and teaching responsibilities, it can be difficult to manage the present effectively.
A New Meaning to Teamwork
How radiologists can build high-functioning teams to improve job satisfaction, performance, and patient care.
To rate value to their practice and to their patients, radiologists traditionally highlighted their individual performance through relative value units (RVUs). They'd isolate themselves in reading rooms to focus on interpreting more images without interruptions.
Speaking Up for Psychological Safety
As radiologists report increasing levels of burnout, how can we support our colleagues and trainees?
At the ACR Annual Conference on Quality and Safety held in Boston this past September, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Steven J. Swensen, MD, medical director of leadership and organization development at the Mayo Clinic and a senior fellow at the Institute for Health Care Improvement.
Ensure Your Voice is Heard: March Madness
Need to hear some positive news in the realm of political advocacy?
Sara H. Kim, MD
Q: How do you create the ideal patient experience in your practice?
Every day, as a radiation oncologist, I witness the stress patients living with a cancer diagnosis go through.
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®.
Radiology practice mergers proliferate in light of regulatory pressures.
Several times during their group's 25-year history, the radiologists at La Porte Radiology in La Porte, Ind., considered merging with another practice. But the six-member team never had a compelling reason to follow through — until 2015.
Tailoring Access to Care
The business case for reducing missed care opportunities.
Recently, a patient walked away from a meeting that included her primary care physician (PCP) and her radiologist and declared she had just received "a mini lesson in medical evaluation and reasoning."
Battling Burnout and Its Consequences
How can we tackle the increasing incidence of physician stress, anxiety, and depression?
Stress, anxiety, and depression. As a radiologist, you may have suffered one of these conditions, or watched a colleague suffer — perhaps silently.
Putting Together the Pieces
Radiology's role in detecting, reporting, and diagnosing potential cases of child abuse.
Every 10 seconds, child abuse is reported in the U.S. More than 3.6 million cases are referred to child protection agencies every year, involving more than 6.6 million children.
On the journey toward Medicare’s new Quality Payment Program, preparation is half the battle.
The future is now. Ready or not, the era of value-based payment is upon us.
How radiologists can craft their own personal brand.
It's no secret that many radiologists spend plenty of time in a dark reading room. Even though that's changign thanks to initiatives like Imaging 3.0®, imagers work hard to define their reputations in the workplace.
Connecting the Dots
How incentives under a Medicare alternative payment model might affect radiology practices.
We're in uncharted territory. More than ever before, our health care system is so complex that it is increasingly difficult to foresee the consequences of proposed policies and organizational changes.
Standing Out from the Crowd
What does your brand say about you and your practice?
This past September, I had the privilege of attending the fourth annual summit of the Radiology Leadership Institute® held at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. Each year, I have found the programming to be absolutely terrific.
Backbreaking Work: The Ergonomics of Radiology
As diagnostic radiologists, we are often perceived as having less physically demanding jobs than many of our colleagues in other specialties. We are not rounding for hours, constantly bending over to examine patients, or standing at an operating table for marathon surgeries.
Out of the Dark
The Johns Hopkins Radiology Resident Consult Service
Advancements in imaging technology in the last several decades have ushered in a new golden age of radiology. The development of PACS, new imaging modalities, and new protocols and techniques has greatly improved our ability to serve our patients and our referring providers.
Unprecedented practice transformation is underway, and radiologists need to get involved.
Now more than ever, patients expect the right care, at the right time, and at a reasonable cost. To reach that goal, health providers must achieve practice transformation on an unprecedented scale.
Cutting Down on Missed Opportunities
Skipped appointments tell us more about our patients' access to care than you might think.
As a professional organization, the ACR has been a tremendous advocate for women's access to screening mammography annually starting at age 40, which gives the maximum life-saving benefit.
Job Search Part Three: Interview Success and Getting the Offer
You’ve earned an interview. Continue to impress and join your new group.
All of the hard work you have done until now has hopefully been showcased in your cover letter and CV. Do not be disappointed if you receive interviews from only a small number of groups you contacted.
Are We Ready for Round Two of ICD-10?
It’s time for every radiology practice to identify its ICD-10 champion.
We survived round one of the ICD-10 implementation. As you've probably heard, ICD-10 is the revised system for diagnosis coding.
How to Land an Interview With Your Perfect Group
You’ve found your preferred job. Use this advice to get the interview.
So you’ve found the job you want. Now you have to land an interview. First impressions are everything.
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.
Is Consolidation the Answer?
The RFS Journal Club debates the pros and cons of one of the biggest trends in health care today.
Despite the Federal Trade Commission’s anti-trust efforts, hospital consolidation continues to grow. Between 2007 and 2012, 835 hospitals were involved in 432 merger-and-acquisition deals, with another 95 occurring in 2014. Sixty percent of hospitals are now part of a larger health care system, and it is predicted that up to 20 percent of all U.S. hospitals will be involved in a merger in the next five years.
RFS Voices: Job Search
Job searching season is here. Follow these tips to find a position that suits your needs.
It’s July, and change is upon us. For trainees in medicine, this heralds the beginning of a new academic year.
The Rule of Thirds
At one of the world’s most successful companies, executives devote their largest fraction of time to one single thing.
It's a universal truth of business that where we focus our investments is where we place our value. If you look at the way your own practice prioritizes investment, what patterns can you pick out?
Boost your emotional intelligence to improve your relationships and upgrade your career.
What qualities lead to success in business? The average response might be a high IQ or keen insight into upcoming trends.
Three Things to Read Today
Intriguing Links from Around the Web
This week, we’re reading about burnout in radiology, the unrecorded amount of time patients spend managing care, and obstacles women face in medical school.
How (and Why) to Get Your Colleagues on Board with CDS
Practical Steps to Leverage Clinical Decision Support Tools and Enhance Collaboration Between Ordering Physicians and Radiologists
In the drive to reduce inappropriate imaging and deliver better care at lower costs, it is imperative for physicians who order imaging and for radiologists to forge a strong, collaborative partnership. Avoiding unnecessary care begins by following evidence-based recommendations for which tests and procedures are most appropriate for each patient’s clinical situation.
The influx of baby boomers into the Medicare population is causing changes in the health care landscape. But it isn’t all dire.
Baby boomers are the largest generation of Americans ever. Every day, about 10,000 of these individuals turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare. At this rate, the number of Medicare enrollees will increase from 54 million to more than 80 million by 2030.
3 Things to Read Today
Intriguing Links from Around the Web
This week, we’re reading about facilitating communication with team members, asking the right questions, and more.
3 Things to Read Today
Intriguing Links From Around the Web
This week, we’re checking out social media tips, learning about collaboration, and reading about the overall benefits of taking your time with patients.
New Rules of Engagement
The world of radiology is changing. Here’s how the ACR is positioning the specialty for success.
This will be my last Bulletin column as your chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors. As I look back, being involved in organized medicine, in particular organized radiology, has made my professional life most rewarding.
Corporate Practice of Medicine
What do radiologists need to understand about corporate entities and radiology?
The ACR Legal Office receives occasional inquiries regarding the corporate practice of medicine. Most often, the caller is looking for a way to block a corporate entity not owned by radiologists from practicing radiology using employed radiologists. They want to know if such arrangements are prohibited by law.
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.
The gap between generations of radiologists isn’t as wide as you’d think.
The millennial generation is self-absorbed. Generation X is overly cynical. The baby boomer generation lives to work. These stereotypes — and more — saturate conversations whenever the topic of age comes up.
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.
Designed for Imaging
Practices have a lot to consider when designing a new facility or renovating an existing imaging center.
When Radiology Imaging Associates, a private practice with offices in Maryland and Virginia, began designing a new imaging center next to a daycare in 2005, safety was of the utmost importance.
Travis S. Graham, MD
Q: How do you avoid burnout?
You all know the spiel about strategies to avoid burnout.
Point of Failure
Radiologists will inevitably make mistakes, and they must be prepared to handle them.
About a decade ago, Michael A. Bruno, MD, FACR, professor of radiology and medicine and vice chair for quality and safety at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, was interpreting a patient’s abdominal CT, when he made a mistake. The patient had an unusual partial bowel obstruction, but Bruno misinterpreted the finding.
The 2016 Special Leadership Issue
Health care is rapidly changing. Value is king, and physicians are searching for their place in this value-based, patient-centric world. This issue of the Bulletin, partnered with the Radiology Leadership Institute®, gives readers insights into bringing patient-centric care into their practices, tips for leading and inspiring change, and advice on dealing with the pressure of burnout and the possibility of failure.
Leader of the Pack
Gaurab Bhardwaj, MBA, PhD, explains the ins and outs of good organizational leadership.
John F. Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” In that same vein, the Radiology Leadership Institute® (RLI) operates under the principle that leaders are made, not born.
Boots on the Ground
Taking Imaging 3.0™ from the front lines of the battlefield to your practice.
Imagine waking up to go to your practice on a Monday morning — it’s only a 10-minute walk away. The scent of mud and sewage hits your nose, and the air is filled with the sound of construction and other industrial noises. Sirens wail in the distance. You quickly sidestep the potholes that litter the ground as you enter your department, a series of beige walls meant for quick deconstruction should the need arise. Your patients often arrive by helicopter, and the minute you enter, work begins.
Welcome to being a combat radiologist. Welcome to Afghanistan.
Who’s in the Center of Your System?
Changing our practices one patient at a time
Being diagnosed with brain cancer is disorienting for any patient. When Christine Zars, MS, found out she had a brain tumor at age 19, even the term “tumor” was confusing. “’Tumor’ meant absolutely nothing to me,” she said in a joint RSNA-ACR session, “but I could tell from my parents’ reaction that this was really bad.”
What's coming for the radiology workforce?
Each year the ACR Commission on Human Resources survey practices far and wide to get a current snaposhot of radiology's work environment and to make projections of the year to come. Check out some of the top findings below.
Diversifying Your Strategy
Building a diverse team can lead to better patient care, increased referrals, and more.
In 2014, Curtiland Deville Jr., MD, assistant professor of radiation oncology and molecular radiation sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, co-authored a paper about diversity in radiology. The researchers found that just 23.5 percent of diagnostic radiologists are women and only 6.5 percent are underrepresented minorities (URMs) in medicine — blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, native Alaskans, native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. But what surprised Deville was that the findings were not new.
The Uberization of Imaging
Incorporating ideas from the famous ride-sharing service into radiology may introduce roadblocks to quality patient care.
Many factors have driven radiology to the sidelines when it comes to providing direct, quality patient care. Chief among these is the fact that, with the advent of PACS, imaging specialists can be seen by referring providers and hospital administrators as interchangeable, offering the same services with relatively little difference in quality.
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”).
#RLI2015 in Tweets
Radiologists gather to learn about business, teamwork, and leadership from some of the industry's best.
This year at the RLI Leadership Summit, the spotlight was on radiologists reaching out to patients, understanding emotional intelligence, and conquering some of the critical issues facing the industry. We've rounded up our favorite tweets from the meeting, highlighting memorable parts of this year's program. Were you at the meeting? What stood out to you?
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.
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.
The Stories We Tell
Change doesn’t just come from mandates on high.
Quality improvement and value are hot topics these days. Radiologists are seeking to ensure that they remain viable participants at the health care table.
The Customer is Always Sometimes Right
Providing quality care in an era of patient satisfaction surveys, Facebook likes, and online reviews
A recent study by radiologists at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) found a strong correlation between patient readmission rates and hospitals’ ratings on their Facebook pages.1
Hand in Hand
Taking your practice through big changes requires collaboration.
During the ACR 2015 session “Working Synergistically to Succeed Now and in the Future,” radiology practice leaders discussed tactics for leading a radiology practice through times of potentially radical change. Among the speakers’ key takeaways was bringing the entire practice on board but through negotiation and cooperation rather than through force. Follow these steps to lead your team through new territory and unfamiliar challenges.
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?
The Root of the Matter
When adverse events occur, institutions turn to root cause analysis to pinpoint weak areas and improve patient care
Two patients with the same last name were on the same floor of a major hospital in Houston, Texas, both scheduled for procedures on the same day. Attendants wheeled the patients to their respective procedure areas in the hospital.
Putting Together the Pieces
Radiologists sometimes hold the key to diagnosing inter-partner violence, but are they watching for the signs?
Do a search in PubMed for “domestic violence,” and you will discover over 40,000 results. Add “radiology,” and the numbers drop to 836. Now eliminate the articles dealing with child and elder abuse from that search —meaning you are searching only for information on inter-partner violence — and the numbers go down to just 19.
ACR is taking steps to manage risk and protect itself. But how do you protect your own practice?
Under the leadership of Lawrence A.Liebscher, MD, FACR, the ACR Audit Committee has focused its most recent efforts on a risk assessment of the College.
The Right Mix
Consolidations and mergers are becoming a reality for many practices. What changes can you expect, and how can you make the process smoother for everyone involved?
This isn’t news to you: health care is changing. Reimbursements are decreasing, value is king, and competition is high.
Hitting the Mark
Radiology leaders prepare for the future by creating a strategic plan.
In one scene from Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure," circumstances align to provide Claudio with a keen sense of his own mortality.
The word "Value" is everywhere. But what does it mean to different groups across the health care spectrum?
Reorganizing for the Future
Group members at odds over the implementation of Imaging 3.0TM? It may be time to restructure.
This is a non-breaking news alert: radiology is changing from a volume- to a value-focused model of care. In response, the ACR has developed Imaging 3.0™, an initiative that encourages radiologists to add value by engaging closely with patients and other members of the health care team.
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.
The Value of Hard Work
A few years ago, Samir B. Patel, MD, of Radiology, Inc. found himself in a bind. During contract negotiations with one of the hospitals his practice serves, the hospital president told him something no radiologist wants to hear: The physician leadership had taken the position that if Patel’s group didn’t want to “play ball” and accept the hospital’s terms, the president should sever the relationship with Radiology, Inc. From the physicians’ perspective, all radiologists do is read images and, for that reason, would be easy to replace.
Gone but Not Forgotten
Malpractice claims can be kept out of court, but not the National Practitioner Data Bank.
A Note from ACR Legal Counsel
Medical malpractice claims are settled for many reasons, whether or not the claims are actually valid. Among those reasons is the desire to avoid a liability report on the physician’s record.
The Secret Ingredient
Leadership skills can make the difference between helping your practice succeed and watching your group fall behind the curve.
Frank J. Lexa, MD, MBA, chair of the ACR Practice Leaders Meeting and professor and vice chair of research and academic affairs at the Drexel University College of Medicine department of radiological sciences, discusses new payment models, redefining success, and why leadership matters for radiologists.
Reaching An Agreement
Chances are you’re handling negotiations every day. Are you making the most of these interactions?
Two men enter a conference room in New York City. They sit on opposite sides of a large table and begin discussing the possible merger of their two companies.
Tools of the Trade
As medicine shifts, groups are hiring radiologists who can not only interpret images appropriately but also serve as practice builders.
In many professions, it is not unusual for people to change employers often. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2012, the median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer was just 4.6.1 That means that people tend to change employers nearly as often as the nation holds a presidential election. But radiology is different.
Follow these tips for a successful first job search.
The job search is anything but ordinary for radiologists — most of whom went directly from college to medical school and on to internship, residency, and fellowship. “For a lot of us, this is the first time we’re looking for a job,” says Jonathan Flug, MD, MBA, assistant professor of radiology at the University of Colorado in Aurora, Colo. “And I think that, for a lot of people, it’s hard at first.”
Appeals of ACR Accreditation Decisions
What are my options if my facility does not receive accreditation?
The stakes for ACR members and their practices have risen dramatically, particularly in relation to accreditation. As of January 1, 2012, CMS began requiring accreditation from designated organizations such as the ACR for suppliers that furnish the technical component of advanced diagnostic imaging services in a non-hospital setting.
Protecting Our Smallest Patients
The Commission on Pediatric Radiology advocates for its patients and advances the subspecialty.
The commission encompasses committees on Quality and Safety, Education, Economics, Advocacy, and Research.
Out of the Shadows
One Midwest practice prioritizes more direct interaction with referring physicians and patients.
In the recent "Imaging 2.0" past, radiologists conducted their work in isolation. Most of the day, they sat in darkened rooms where they reviewed images and dictated reports, with little interaction with referring physicians and almost no contact with patients.
A Breath of Fresh Air
Get up to date with all of the changes in lung cancer screening with these resources.
Over the course of the past year, many exciting developments have occurred in the world of lung cancer screening. According to Ella A. Kazerooni, MD, FACR, principal investigator at the University of Michigan in the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), "We're committed to widespread coverage for lung cancer screening, and providing an array of tools radiologists need to make that happen."
Radiologists must weigh the benefits and penalties when prioritizing health care reform initiatives.
In the classic Road Runner cartoon, it's hard not to feel a bit sorry for poor Wile E. Coyote. Every time he thinks the Road Runner is within reach — BAM! — something happens that makes the coyote wonder whether he'll ever catch the long-legged bird.
Mapping Out Success
Survivorship plans are a critical tool for patient care, yet they are not always implemented.
Imagine that you've just landed in a foreign country. Problematically, you don't speak the language, you don't know how to get to your hotel, and you don't know any of the social customs. Dead ends seem to hit you everywhere, and you don't know whom to call for help.
The Metamorphosis of a Practice
As the health care industry moves toward value and away from volume, some facilities are finding both challenges and opportunities as they turn to a more service-oriented business model.
It is a conundrum most radiologists face at some point in their careers: how to stay true to the needs of their patients while consistently meeting business goals for their practices.
Radiologists take on the evolving health care paradigm with inspiration from the corporate world.
Professionals in business and medicine make difficult decisions on a daily basis, prioritizing the customer’s (or patient’s) needs through exceptional service. So it’s no surprise that radiologists are seeking advice from successful entrepreneurs.
The Benefits of Having Friends
The State Government Relations Committee focuses on building connections and creating solutions.
Christopher G. Ullrich, MD, FACR, discusses making a difference, challenging misconceptions, and keeping up the good work as his four-year term as chair of the State Government Relations Committee comes to an end.
Q: What can radiologists do to become visible members of the care team?
I look forward to the day when our patients routinely view their radiologist in the same way they see their internist or cardiologist.
An ACR Task Force investigates radiology's role in medical education.
The ACR Task Force on Medical Student Education in Radiology, in partnership with the Alliance of Medical Student Educators in Radiology, surveyed academic radiology department chairs and medical school deans in late 2012 to understand how medical imaging is currently taught and how physician education can adapt going forward.
Q: Tell us about an unexpected experience with an associate.
She was 80, post lumpectomy, referred for radiotherapy. She was among a wave of patients avoiding mastectomy in the wake of the NSABP B-06 report providing lumpectomy and whole-breast radiotherapy equal to masectomy.
The 2014 Moreton Lecture focuses on the principles of delivering high value in health care.
Michael E. Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School in Boston, presented his much-anticipated Moreton Lecture, "Value-Based Health-Care Delivery." Porter focused on the challenges to radiology and the principles of delivering high value.
The Way Forward
The 2014 ACR Annuaul Meeting hones in on the skills and knowledge radiologists need to thrive in the changing world of health care.
Radiologists from throughout the country and spanning the spectrum of subspecialties gathered in Washington, D.C. to chart a course for radiology in the changing seas of health care.
Running on all Cylinders
Radiologists enhance efficiency using a method originally designed for the automobile industry.
The common perception of Japanese efficiency has its roots in many facets of the nation’s past. One of these aspects is its history of whaling. Since Japan’s mountainous topography made it hard for inhabitants to cultivate livestock, around 12,000 B.C. they turned to whales for sustenance.
Spanning the doctor-patient divide with user-friendly patient portals.
In February of 2013, Dacia G. Hodgin, a patient at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., had a biopsy performed on her ear. Hodgin and her primary care physician didn’t expect the biopsy results to show anything too alarming. But the next day, Hodgin’s doctor called to inform her that the biopsy had revealed a rare form of cancer.
What Lies Beneath
Relative value units are an intrinsic part of tracking physician payment and productivity but do they show the whole picture?
Take a moment and think back to when you were in middle school. You took a whole spectrum of subjuects, from English to gym. When you received your report card, your grades were predictably based on criteria individualized for each subject — in English, it was the papers you wrote or the vocabulary tests you took. In gym, it may have been how fast you could run a mile.
Communication and Collaboration
The Commission on Breast Imaging works with stakeholders from throughout the College to improve screening and address controversy.
The Commission on Breast Imaging was formed to address issues related to breast imaging and breast imagers, including development of Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards and ACR Appropriateness Criteria® as well issues related to screening and government regulations.
A court invalidates a health system's acquisition of a physician group.
An Idaho federal court ordered in January that a major health system unwind its acquisition of a prominent medical practice. The court ruled that the transaction violated federal and state antitrust laws.
Practical Applications in MRI
The ACR's annual MRI conference promises access to the leaders driving the technological change.
This year’s Annual MRI Conference will bring imaging experts together with technical experts in small group settings to foster an understanding of rapidly changing MRI technologies.
The Business of Billing
Evaluating managed care companies and their payment practices.
In the ever changing world of imaging providers, gone are the days of maximizing volume to make up for low reimbursement rates. A once straightforward business process is now a complex set of possibilities.
7 Essential Elements of an Effective Compliance Program
For those of us in the business of radiology practice leadership, compliance with government laws and regulations is a major component of what we do. In fact, radiology is probably one of the most heavily regulated medical specialties.
Your practice's billing data can help you improve patient care and manage your practice. Here's how to extract this valuable information and make connections across disparate datasets.
It is an eat-or-beeaten world out there as radiology practices search for the winning formula of services, systems, and practices to survive in a volatile marketplace.
Striking a Balance
The ACR Dose Index Registry® helps hospitals retain scan quality while successfully lowering radiation dose.
There can be a fine line between maintaining the quality of an image and lowering radiation dose for patients. One solution for establishing this equilibrium is ACR’s Dose Index Registry® (DIR).
Avoid Getting Burned by the Sunshine Act
You've probably heard of the Sunshine Act, but do you know what it means for radiologists?
Does learning more about the Sunshine Act feature on your to-do list? Although the act does not require physicians to actually do anything, ignorance about its implications can have serious consequences.
Resolve to Evolve
Radiologists boost patient care through the peer review process.
From our earliest days in elementary school to working as part of a team of professionals, most of us want to feel we’re an integral part of a whole. According to some biologists, it’s not just something we’re taught, either: it’s a big part of our evolutionary history.
What Would Paul Revere Do?
ACR members at all stages in their careers share their best advice for making (and keeping) professional connections.
On April 18, 1775, two men rode through the countryside around Boston, sounding the alarm that the British were advancing. As a result of their efforts, a militia of minutemen was assembled in time to meet the British troops for a battle that would begin the American Revolution.
Testing the Waters
To what extent should doctors separate their personal and professional online identities?
With the advent of smartphones, the use of social media has exploded with such popular sites as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, and Tumblr. As one media domain fades in popularity, several new platforms grow, each promising instantaneous connectivity with far-flung networks of people.
Disruptive behavior is hard to spot and can undermine a culture of safety. What do you do if it happens to you?
It is a typical afternoon at your practice, and you are reading an image from your latest patient. You’ve nearly finished when suddenly your colleague, Dr. X, stands and roughly turns off his monitor.
An Even Keel
As imaging becomes increasinlgy complex, and the radiology work environment more stressful, it is more important than ever for radiologists to maintain their focus.
There are arguably more stressors confronting radiologists today than at any point in the specialty’s history.
Patricia A. Helke, MD, MBA
Q: How do you add value to your interactions with referring physicians?
In the age of the commoditization of radiology, it is critical to add value to our practice interactions with referring physicians. To this end, our practice tries to make our service to our colleagues personalized.
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy and Self-Referral
What is behind new criticisms and liabilities?
A number of recent publications regarding urology services have ignited a storm of discussion about the propriety and effects of self-referral by urologists.
What to expect and where to turn when your hospital sends out a request for proposals.
If losing a hospital contract is like going through a divorce (an apt metaphor according to many who’ve been in this situation), then having your hospital send out a request for proposals (RFP) is similar to your significant other posting an ad on an online dating site. The emotions are all there: shock, disbelief, and betrayal.
Do Wrong to None
In this new era of value-based health care, radiologists believe that reporting errors will bolster patient trust.
"Deny and defend.” For many years, this was the credo of risk managers, quality improvement experts, and radiologists alike when an error was committed during the course of a patient’s care.
Q: How do you minimize (or deal with) distractions throughout the day?
First, I try to be organized. I have a comfortable workspace with minimal clutter.
An Incomplete Picture
As some electronic health records systems become harder to access, radiologists find it difficult to assemble patients' complete medical histories.
Imagine a time in which a few giants of industry rise up to consume the majority of market share. An era when small-scale businesses are run out of town because the major players will not engage with them operationally.
Since its inception in 2012, the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute has been hard at work examining issues that affect all of radiology.
The recent changes in health care policy have been overwhelming — multiple payment procedure reduction, meaningful use, and the Affordable Care Act, just to name a few. These new programs define how imaging services and tools should be used and as well as their respective values.
Would your practice's corporate compliance program pass the test?
Radiology continues to draw government scrutiny, for better or for worse. We have written in previous columns that diagnostic imaging centers particularly have fallen under the spotlight of investigators and prosecutors (see "Beware of Those Bearing Gifts," in the June 2013 issue, at http://bit.ly/JuneRADLAW).
Partnership for Success
Wisconsin radiologists team up with other specialists to demonstrate the benefits of point-of-service decision-support technologies.
Medical practitioners don't always agree with the rules imposed on them by government agencies.
A severe contrast reaction can be life-threatening. Do you know what to do?
Few circumstances arise in radiology departments that require immediate medical intervention. Yet, when patients have an allergic reaction to contrast material, there are definite risks concerning morbidity and mortality.
Make the Most of Your Meetings
How to take advantage of the events on your calendar this year.
Medical meetings can be overwhelming, whether it's your first RSNA or your 12th subspecialty conference. There's so much to see and so many people to meet, it can sometimes be difficult to know what to prioritize.
Your Next Job
Finding an ideal-for-you radiology job can be a daunting task. However, planning ahead can streamline the process.
Despite the changes that the radiology employment market has seen in the last decade, the prognosis is still good for new graduates, according to the 2013 ACR Commission on Human Resources Workforce Survey, released in October.
Setting the Standard
In today's value-driven health care environment, standardized language in structured reports allows for improved patient care.
No news is good news. That has often been radiologists' refrain when sending imaging reports to referring physicians. Radiologists frequently use language that is either overly verbose or too imprecise, making it hard for referring physicians to pinpoint actionable findings.
The Neighborhood Radiologist
Practices across the country are getting involved in their communities to connect with patients and spread the word about the role of the specialty in health care.
Earlier this month, radiologists, radiation oncologists, and medical physicists around the world turned their attention to showcasing their specialty on the International Day of Radiology.
Diversity 3.0: Are We There Yet?
As our new commission ramps up its efforts, there is plenty of work ahead.
In an ever changing world, diversity and inclusion become critical components of success in a global economic context.
A Haunting Proposition
Radiologists who ignore programs designed to help them transition from volume- to value-based care do so at their own peril; here are four areas to look out for in the coming year.
The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once said, "There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is." Never has this saying been more accurate than when applied to the way some physicians have reacted to changes occurring in medicine.
What do you do to avoid health problems associated with sitting for hours each day?
You don't need tables and facts to know that as you age, you tend to become less active. Careers, marriages, children, and community service can all take their toll, and eventually something has to go.
A unique commission brings together diverse groups with similar needs.
The Commission on General, Small, and/or Rural Practice (GSR) is a specialty commission representing ACR members who are general radiologists, practice general radiology, are members of small groups, or practice in rural locales.
Letter to the Editor
Editor’s Note: ACR member James E. Heisel, MD, of Jackson, Mich., responded to the June ACR Bulletin article "Adapting to Change" (http://bit.ly/Adapt2Change). The article sought to explain how, given the drastically shifting medical landscape, radiologists must adapt in order to thrive. Below we’ve printed some of Dr. Heisel's most salient points, along with responses from the ACR's Imaging 3.0™ Work Group.
Imaging on the Road
Mobile imaging units are convenient for patients, but adding one to an existing practice is not a decision that should be made lightly.
Traditionally when patients need imaging services, they visit their local hospital or outpatient imaging center.
Practices are getting creative as they market their services in a changing health-care environment.
Things are changing in the world of health care. And as the health system shifts, so does the business climate.
A Coordinated Effort
Now that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is law, radiologists try to determine where they fit into accountable care organizations.
It's a maxim heard often these days: the health-care industry is transforming from a volume-based business into one predicated on delivering high-quality patient care. With the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and with President Obama's re-election last year, the act has become the law of the land.
Q: How do you avoid getting burned out?
I wish I could say that I've never felt overwhelmed at my job, but I suspect few of us can. I think burnout happens when people start feeling overwhelmed all the time and it starts to affect them negatively.
Understanding the specifics of how antitrust relates to physicians.
The ACR Legal Office continues to receive questions about why federal and state authorities seem more concerned about doctors violating antitrust laws and less concerned about hospitals and insurance companies doing so.
Rock the Boat
Effecting change with diplomacy and determination.
Rocking the proverbial boat can be risky, especially when seas are rough. And few radiologists would dispute that their profession is in the midst of an all-out hurricane composed of reimbursement cuts, commodization, and uncertainty for the future.
Point A to Point B
Sometimes communication between radiologists and their referring physicians is not exactly straightforward. In fact, seemingly easy concepts can become unnecessarily complicated.
When radiologists draft reports, naturally they provide information about the abnormality for which the imaging was ordered as well as any incidental findings.
Taking the Reins
As the ACR economics team responds to the latest releases from CMS, radiologists ponder ways to enhance their role in care delivery.
July 4th is a great American holiday. As a naturalized citizen, I love everything about Independence Day, from the national anthem to the fireworks.
The RFS, Young and Early Career Physicians Section, ABR, and clinical research leadership outline changes to the specialty and directions going forward.
As part of Monday's AMCLC programming, leaders representing the 2012-2013 Resident and Fellow Section, the ABR, ACRIN®, and RTOG® reported on activities, accomplishments, challenges, and plans for the future.
Shaping the Future
The 2013 ACR annual meeting focuses on reclaiming radiology's central role in health care.
Talk of transitioning to new payment models, calls for radiologists to reclaim their central role in health care, and efforts to increase member engagement were all hot topics during the 90th AMCLC, held at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C.
Beware of Those Bearing Gifts
Business practices that were legal a few years ago may get you into hot water today.
The government is increasing enforcement of health-care regulations governing physician behavior.
Fortress With Moats
California radiologists tackle the challenges of EHR-PACS interoperability and address the requirements of referring physicians.
Radiologists in California are confronting a serious issue with the lack of interoperability between their referring physicians' electronic health record (EHR) systems and their own PACS.
A Crash Course in SA-CME
An inside look at the ABR's new self-assessment requirements explains how recent changes affect MOC.
Things are changing in the world of maintenance of certification. The ABR has introduced self-assessment CME (SA-CME) credits, interactive education activities that include self-assessment tools.
Research participation invigorates radiation oncologists.
Editor's Note: The April ACR Bulletin featured two radiologists whose practices participate in clinical trials. This month, two radiation oncologists share their motivation to pursue clinical research.
The tools and resources available to ACR members continue to grow.
ACR members enjoy ready access to a broad range of valuable experiences and services that help them stay connected and be more engaged. Such activities are central to the work of the ACR Commission on Membership and Communications.
Radiologists remember the cases they almost missed and the things they learned in the process.
It's an unfortunate truth that one of the best ways to learn is by making mistakes. Few things burn an idea into our minds the way a negative event can, especially one that we could have prevented.
Adapting to Change
In a time of declining reimbursements and increasing government regulations, radiologists evolve to remain integral members of the health-care community.
No one remembers Camarasaurus. At 75 feet long and weighing 50 tons, the dinosaur thrived during the late Jurassic Period.
The Only Constant
As technology transforms the current health care model, radiologists must lead the way.
Radiology is an IT business. We process certain types of information and translate them to others (for example, data are transformed into images, which are process and summarized in reports, and so on).
The ACR Clinical Research Center helps build a National Cancer Clinical Trials System for the 21st century.
In November 2010, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) announced an initiative to restructure its clinical trials cooperative group program. As the rationale, the NCI cited recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine in its consensus report "A National Cancer Clinical Trials System for the 21st Century: Reinvigorating the NCI Cooperative Group Program."1
Outlining the Future of Rural Radiology
Radiologists harness technology and small-town values to serve patients in rural areas.
They wake up early in the morning and go to bed long past dark. On a given day, they might put a hundred miles on their car, driving dusty back roads to towns called Baxley and Alma.
Q: Tell us about a colleague who has inspired you.
Family and teachers as well as my patients have all inspired and encouraged this country boy to hoe a very long row. However, Michael P. McNamara, MD, stands taller than all the rest.
New HIPPA Mandates
How will the changes affect you?
The privacy — and security — of patient health information has recently become more complicated. In January, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule that will formalize changes to HIPAA.1
Community-Based Studies Lead to Success
Private practices take part in clinical trials to advance the field and enhance patient care.
Two community-based radiologists whose private practices maintain vibrant research departments make the case that devoting the time and resources in the beginning pays off in the end. They enthusiastically convey the benefits of radiology practice participation in clinical trials — particularly those sponsored by ACRIN® — and discuss the steps their practices took to establish clinical programs.
The New First Impression
An effective practice website can increase your visibility and demonstrate value to patients — before they can even walk through your doors.
If you entered a practice waiting room to find unclear instructions, a disorderly front desk, and outdated information on the walls, how long would you stay? Probably not long.
A health-care improvement organization designs a decision-support system to circumvent the prior-notification process, with promising results.
In this age of profound changes in health care delivery models, radiologists must find new strategies to stay viable. One such approach is called Imaging 3.0™, an initiative by the ACR to shift the culture of radiology. Imaging 3.0 provides measures that assure quality and safety, requires coordination and collaboration among physicians and patients, and empowers patients in their imaging care.
The Practice Menagerie
How can your group leverage a variety of personalities, including yours, to get ahead?
Imagine you're holding the phone to your ear, calling a referring physician. As you listen to the phone ring, waiting for the sound of a voice, what are you thinking about?
Radiology business managers help practices thrive in a challenging business climate.
Jonathan Swift once said, "A wise many should have money in his head, but not in his heart." In light of the current political and economic climate, this is a maxim that radiologists sometimes forget.
ACR Supports the Appropriate Decision
"The limitation of the ethical phenomenon to its place and time does not imply its rejection by, on the contrary, its validation. One does not use cannons to shoot sparrows." — Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics1
The ACR Appropriateness Criteria® are evidence-based guidelines intended to assist referring physicians and other providers in making the most appropriate imaging or treatment decision for specific clinical circumstances. These criteria now cover over 180 topics and 900 variants.
Q: Tell us about a time you effectively overcame an ethical dilemma as a radiologist.
Many times on overnight call, usually while searching for the appendix or trying to find a transition point, I've bemoaned my department's low-dose pediatric CT protocols, which can turn bowel loops into one big jumbled mess.
Statutes of Limitations and Repose
What's the difference and why does it matter?
Most radiologists are at least generally familiar with the concept of a statute of limitations. Conversely, very few have heard of a statute of repose.
Rise and Shine
Contemporary work environments can pose serious health risks, so here are some tips for staying healthy while putting in a full day of reading images.
A recent British study reported on the dangers of sitting down all day. Researchers found that remaining sedentary for long stretches of time increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and ultimately death, even if the person in question exercises regularly.
How Can We Help?
After 25 years, ACR Radiation Oncology Accreditation is still the gold standard.
If you represent a radiation oncology practice and want to show patients, communities, payers, and physicians that you're dedicated to providing the highest quality care, where do you turn?
"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." — Aristotle, Metaphysica
There are many parts to the ACR. They include you the members, our professional staff, and our facilities. As you probably know, the ACR represents more than 35,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists.
A Better Measure for Lesions
Novel quantitative assessment tools hold promise for future use in clinical practice.
Radiology is evolving into a more quantitative discipline, and unlike qualitative interpretation, which is prone to variability among radiologists, quantitative assessment can improve both the reproducibility of interpretations and the detail of information extracted from images.
Getting the Word Out
"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." — Marie Curie
Fear of radiation has been around since the discovery of this game-changing process. And as Madame Curie knew, understanding is the key to overcoming that fear.
Connecting the College
The CSC Liaison Program brings together the ACR and its members.
Over the past several years, members of the ACR Council Steering Committee have increased their outreach to both chapters and subspecialty societies. This outreach has made a significant difference in ensuring that the CSC, the ACR, and state chapters stay informed about issues critical to the profession at the grassroots level.
8 Ways to Maintain a Good Relationship with Hospitals and Referring Physicians
When contract renegotiations roll around, is your practice anxious or confident? When a referring physician or hospital administrator asks to meet with practice leaders, do you expect good news or bad?
Means to an End
How do radiologists stand to benefit from the next stage of meaningful use?
It's a common experience: a patient walks into a doctor's office for the first time. The assistant tells her to fill out medical forms before the physician can see her. Then the doctor refers her to a specialist's office, where she is met with reams of paperwork to complete.
How do you increase public awareness and understanding of radiology?
I believe radiology is the single most misunderstood specialty both within medicine and among the general public. How do we change this?
OIG won't penalize practices offering free pre-authorization of patients' behalf.
Does a radiology practice violate the law if it obtains an insurer's pre-authorization of an imaging study on behalf of referring physicians and patients? In a scenario that one group posed, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office in Inspector General (OIG) recently came back with a verdict: no.
Revealing a Personal Face of Radiology
A new task force sets out to explore the clinical practice of interventional radiology and interventional neuroradiology and advocate for these vital subspecialties.
Mrs. Smith was in dire straits. She was bleeding to death during her C-section. Her experienced OB thought she might not survive a hysterectomy and asked for my help.
A new ACR commission seeks to change the traditional face of radiology.
The new Commission for Women and Diversity was formed to serve as an advisory group to the Board of Chancellors and to improve the specialty of radiology through mentorship, leadership, and service engagement with an emphasis on diversity.
Mentorship in Action
Radiologists at all career stages create a culture of support.
Peter H. Van Geertruydne, MD, compares finishing residency to diving off a cliff into the unknown. For many young physicians, this post-residency period is the first time in their career that they face so many choices.
This year let's set some goals that will benefit our patients, our practices, and our specialty.
If, like me, you make (and break) the same old New Year's resolutions every year, maybe it's time to think differently for 2013.
The ACR Takes on Antitrust
Protect yourself and your practice by becoming familiar with ACR's official policy.
Last month's column explained key antitrust laws and why the matter to ACR members. This month, we offer ACR's Antitrust Compliance Policy, which has been adopted by the ACR BOC. The policy applies to ACR members, staff, and the conduct of ACR meetings and other ACR activities.
Back to Basics in Pediatric Imaging
New Image Gently® initiative educates the imaging community and the public on opportunities to optimize radiation dose in digital radiography.
Many things in life require balance: work and play, study and application, or even too much or too little of just about anything.
More Than CPI
Continuous Professional Improvement program takes on modality-specific CME.
Radiologists who want to earn CME or SAM credits often seek materials or events that not only fulfill their practice requirements for the year but also keep them up-to-date within their specialties. This can be difficult, particularly with recent, more rigorous accreditation requirements from states, hospitals, and accrediting bodies.
Turning Up the AC
ACR Appropriateness Criteria® integrated with decision-support software? See for yourself.
For nearly two decades, physicians and radiologists have lauded the ACR Appropriateness Criteria® (AC) program as the go-to resource for imaging decision support.
In Law We Antitrust
Should radiologists be concerned about antitrust laws?
Occasionally, someone calls the ACR Legal Office with an antitrust question. Usually, the member or group has tried to take an action and has been told simply that it cannot be done as it would violate antitrust law, but isn't provided with further explanation.
Finding Purpose in Meaningful Use
One practice comes out ahead after implementing stage I of the incentive program.
Since 1905, Advanced Radiology Consultants LLC (ARC) has provided imaging services to patients in southwestern Connecticut.
In the Patient's Shoes
Radiologists question — and evolve — the patient experience with input straight from the source.
Unfortunately, receiving a CT, MRI, or other imaging exam referral can sometimes instill a sense of dread in a patient.
Taking Back Imaging
Can radiologists keep imaging decisions within the specialty without interference from RBMs?
Many payers may see radiology benefits management (RBM) companies which analyze the appropriateness of high-tech imaging procedures, as tools to keep their costs down.
The rise in the number of incidental findings brings ethical and medical dilemmas to the forefront.
The increase in CT scans and other medical imaging in recent years has been accompanied by an increase in the number of incidental findings, both in clinical medicine and in research. In many cases, incidental findings can cause ethical and clinical dilemmas for radiologists.
It's more than just a business model.
In this column, we will examine an issue that has energized — and divided — radiology and the ACR: teleradiology.
To Standardize or Not to Standardize?
Applying the main principles of MQSA to other areas of radiology may prove valuable.
Standardizing the way medical imaging is performed and how its subsequent reads are classified and communicated can help ensure patient safety, proper training for technologists, image quality, and even appropriate equipment calibration.
Q: Tell us about a time you effectively handled a crisis.
The practice of clinical medicine is fraught with unforeseen daily crises, which may result in patient harm if left unattended.
Who Is the IG and Why Should I Care?
ACR members have a vested interest in the decisions and positions taken by the Inspector General.
In the medical world, IG is the abbreviation for the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Radiologists should be concerned with and understand the role of the IG because he or she has immense power and influence in the medical payment world.
Prepare for a possible medical group audit with a review of the recovery audit program.
For nearly a decade, CMS has been developing a new weapon in its arsenal against fraudulent, duplicate, and incorrect claims: medical group audits.
Solving the Puzzle
Can an individualized College experience attract new and disconnected members?
Imagine that the benefits of ACR membership correspond to the colored panels on an unsolved Rubik's Cube®. Each color represents a pillar or activity of the College.
After revolutionizing reading rooms more than a decade ago, ergonomics is still a concern.
Carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive motion injuries, shoulder impingement syndrome, severe eye strain, headaches, and lower back pain are just some of the problems radiologists can experience when spending a bulk of their time reading images at workstations.
Making Wise Choices
The ACR joins a campaign designed to question the necessity of common procedures.
The key ingredient needed to make a good choice is knowledge. For example, most radiologists know that routine imaging for low back pain is often overused.
10 Steps to Meaningful Use
A strategic approach helps radiologists tackle the government's incentive program.
By now, most health-care professionals have at least a basic understanding of Meaningful Use (MU) — the government program that provides incentives for the implementation and appropriate use of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology — and the impact it has on modern health-care practice.
Imaging plays a vital role in successful facial transplantations.
Some accidents leave survivors with a visual reminder of their trauma, which can range from a scar to severe facial deformities.
Comparative effectiveness research shifts into high gear, but can radiology find its place?
Does your patient have a life worth living? That's one of the many questions that comparative effectiveness research (CER) endeavors to answer, according to Constantine Gatsonis, Ph.D., professor of Biostatistics and Applied Mathematics at Brown University in Providence, R.I.
Subject to Change
Courses at the Radiology Leadership Institute help you develop and flourish as a leader.
The ACR Radiology Leadership Institute (RLI) is taking professional education to new heights through an innovative taxonomy and a well-defined body of knowledge, which will shape the way the RLI's leadership certification courses are taught.
Preparing a Tradition
Beginning in 2015, all ACR members will get more out of the expanded annual meeting.
Each spring at the AMCLC, ACR councilors, alternate councilors, and members of the Board of Chancellors and Council Steering Committee (CSC) debate resolutions; discuss hot topics; attend lectures; elect officers, chancellors, and CSC members; and induct new fellows.
Sketching a New Reality
What will the radiology report of the future look like?
Over the past century, radiologists have witnessed, and even embraced, many revolutionary developments — from digital imaging to PACS and Radiology Information Systems. Yet one aspect of imaging has remained virtually unchanged since Wilhelm Roentgen discovered the X-ray: the radiology report.
Do No Harm
Have the number of ethical dilemmas in radiology overshadowed the legendary vow?
Three words summarize the basis of most medical ethic statements: Do no harm, a phrase included in the original Hippocratic Oath. But if he were alive today, Hippocrates might consider expanding on that expression.
Q: Tell us about a recent change implemented at your practice.
Since we are a very large practice, even small changes in billing or reimbursement can have a major effect on us. To improve our billing and reimbursement processes, we've made three specific changes.
The Ripple Effect
ACR Clinical Research Center trials create waves of change in patient care.
For more than 40 years, the ACR has supported clinical research endeavors crucial to shaping medical imaging and radiation oncology.
Rules of Engagement
Social media transforms your marketing efforts and captivities your audience. Why wait?
Because many vendors at a farmer's market often sell identical produce, you might buy fruit or vegetables indiscriminately.
Promoting State Chapter Communications
One of the principal functions of the Council Steering Committee (CSC) is to communicate with state chapters. The commitment of communication and representation of the state chapters has always been evident.
Q: How do you balance work and home life?
My wife of 21 years, Leisa, is an anesthesiologist. We both completed medical school and residency at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham.
Speaking Up for Imaging
New national poll results show Americans don't want further cuts to medical imaging.
The field of imaging has been a favorite target for policymakers in recent years. So, when deficit-reduction talks began on Capitol Hill last summer, the ACR took action against further Medicare imaging cuts.
Genomics research may transform personalized medicine. How can radiologists help?
Compiling samples of thousands of genomes from cancer patients may sound like a daunting task, but that's exactly what The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) has been doing.
Leading the Charge
What is leadership in radiology and how is it developed?
Merriam-Webster defines "leading" as the act of directing or guiding on a course.
Why aren't more female medical students entering radiology?
Women account for 74 percent of OB/GYN residents, 64 percent of pediatric residents, and 50 percent of family medicine residents. Why then are only 25 percent of radiology residents female?
Relief Within Reach
Bringing imaging to medically underserved populations doesn't always require a passport.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the "majority of the world's population is denied adequate access to safe and appropriate medical devices." However, many don't realize that these underserved communities are not limited to developing nations — they can be just miles away.
Loud and Clear
Radiologists articulate the advantages and challenges of speech-recognition software.
Radiologists have adjusted to many new technologies, but few have posed a bigger challenge than speech recognition (SR).
Radiologists act fast, think smart to streamline care in the emergency department.
All hospitals maintain one department unlike all the rest: the emergency department (ED).
The Right to Speak?
Experts weigh in on giving imaging results directly to patients.
Radiologists have traditionally served as the "strong, silent type" in the health-care arena. Although they are a critical bridge between the patient and the referring physician, their voices were often unheard or deemed unnecessary.