Apr. 9, 2013

To merge or not to merge, that is the question
More and more radiology groups are combining with other groups. Some are looking at merging with cardiac or vascular groups, and others are looking at becoming part of large multi-specialty groups. Learn the business and legal issues to consider before moving forward with a merger when W. Kenneth Davis Jr., JD, presents Radiology Groups on the Merger Path: Threshold Questions, the Pacing Issues and How to Proceed at the upcoming Radiology Summit.

Register to attend today!

RBMA 2013 Radiology Summit
The Broadmoor
1 Lake Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO 80906

Click here for details.More

RBMA offers FREE membership for your physicians
RBMA is happy to announce its new Practice Leadership Team membership. Any administrator member, who is the Primary member on the account, in good standing with RBMA, can add up to two physicians to a "Practice Leadership Team" membership for free in 2013. The three memberships will renew in 2014 for a discounted rate of $660.

Physician members will receive all of their benefits electronically. For more information on the benefits of membership, please visit our website.

Ready to get started? Use this form to add your two complimentary physician members for 2013!

More than two physicians? Additional physician memberships within the team are available for $210 for the remainder of the year, with an initial one-time $50 enrollment charge. If you have additional physicians you would like to enroll, please contact RBMA membership manager Jessica Struve.

Only one Practice Leadership Team Bundle per practice. This promotion is only available to physicians who are not currently members of RBMA. We will not issue refunds for any current physician members. If you would like to take advantage of this discounted membership bundle in 2014, please contact membership manager Jessica Struve.More

RBMA eSeminar: Strategies for Increasing Patient Payments
Learn ways to increase payment rates for patient services. This webinar will expand on causes for patient non-payment and offer strategies to increase payment rates, including how to screen patients for eligibility, reduce the time to bill, and produce clear and concise statements that patients understand.

Sponsored by Merge Healthcare, this eSeminar is FREE to RBMA members.

Strategies for Increasing Patient Payments
Thursday, April 25
1–2 p.m. ET

Click here for details.More

Apply for the Bob Luther Emerging Leader Travel Scholarship by April 19
Awarded once a year, this $1,000 scholarship is intended for a new manager or an individual looking to advance his or her career in management of a radiology practice. The recipient can choose to attend either the Radiology Summit in Colorado Springs or the Fall Educational Conference in Boston this year.

The deadline to apply is only 10 days away! Don't miss your chance to attend an RBMA conference FREE!

Click here for details.More

Attend an RBMA chapter meeting in your area
RBMA hosts 15 chapters across the continental United States. Most hold at least one meeting per year.

The following chapter meetings are currently scheduled:

California, April 12
Northeast, April 18
Oregon, May 3

Find out if there is a chapter in your area here. If a chapter does not exist in your area and you are interested in starting one, contact jessica.struve@rbma.org.More

Study: Patients like online health records access
When patients at the VA Medical Center in Portland, Ore., were given access to key parts of their electronic health records such as visit notes, lab results and discharge summaries, they believed that the ability to view their records helped them in many ways.More

March Madness in radiology: the push for ACOs
Diagnostic Imaging (registration required)
The season has brought a different kind of March Madness in healthcare as we see a rush to develop and implement accountable care organizations. Often these are being driven by hospitals or health systems, but multispecialty groups are also in the game, and large, single-specialty groups need to be players as well.More

Study: Health law to raise claims cost 32 percent
The Associated Press via The News & Observer
A new study finds that insurance companies will have to pay out an average of 32 percent more for medical claims on individual health policies under President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul. What does that mean for you? It could increase premiums for at least some Americans. More

Aloha! Uh oh! Data breach in Hawaii after physician's computer is stolen on vacation
Hawaii is usually associated with paradise. Not the case, however, for a physician from Oregon Health & Science University. The physician was enjoying the sun and beauty of Hawaii while a thief was busy stealing the physician's laptop from a vacation rental home.More

New Ohio statute effective March 22 regarding notice to patients upon physician termination
The Ohio General Assembly has adopted a new statute, codified in Ohio Revised Code Section 4731.228, obligating healthcare entities to provide notice to patients if a physician who has treated them terminates employment with the healthcare entity.More

What expecting parents should know about estate planning
As preparations are made for a new child to enter into a home, expecting parents also need to consider their estate plan. This may only require a few simple documents, but it is important both before and after the baby is born to have some key documents in place and consider certain planning.More

Calendar of events
Click here for this week's RBMA calendar of events.More

Merge Healthcare announces tender offer and consent solicitation for 11.75 percent Senior Secured Notes due 2015
Merge Healthcare
Merge Healthcare Incorporated, a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare, announced that it has commenced a cash tender offer for any and all of its $252,000,000 outstanding aggregate principal amount of 11.75 percent Senior Secured Notes due 2015. The purpose of the tender offer is to improve Merge's financial position by refinancing its indebtedness outstanding under the notes at a lower interest rate.More

Imaging centers hit with surprise 30 percent cut for MRI codes
Aunt Minnie (registration required)
The American Taxpayer Relief Act in January averted the planned 26.5 percent cut to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, but it didn't prevent reimbursement for two "bread and butter" MRI codes from being slashed by 30 percent. Some freestanding imaging centers are only now becoming painfully aware of the cut. Because of adjustments made by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in its assumptions about room use time for 2013, reimbursements for CPT code 73721 (lower extremity joint MRI) and 73221 (upper extremity joint MRI) have been cut dramatically.More

The financial realities of taking cost out of healthcare
By Mike Wokasch
What's the first thing businesses do when they have to reduce costs? They manage headcount down and look for ways to reduce wages and benefits. From the auto and airline industries to big pharmaceutical companies, if you want to take out cost, you have to look at payroll expenses. This is especially true in any service intensive industry like healthcare where people are at the core of your success but are also a major factor in the cost of operations. This is the elephant in the room when people discuss reducing healthcare costs and finding ways to "bend the cost curve."More

How price transparency could end up increasing healthcare costs
The Atlantic
Getting your appendix out can cost between $2,000 and $180,000. Hip replacements run from $10,000 to more than $100,000. Hospitals, we have also learned, frequently mark up the price of cotton swabs and routine X-rays by 300 or 400 percent, with most patients oblivious to the reason their healthcare bills are so large. As a response to the hidden variability in healthcare prices, an increasing number of states have passed price transparency legislation. More

Image sharing seeks to reduce repeat scans
The Wall Street Journal
When 5-year-old Piper Gibson was hospitalized in Oklahoma City last summer with frightening strokelike symptoms, her father, Chris, got a same-day second opinion on her brain scan from another neurologist — in Boston. Gibson was able to get the second opinion with unusual efficiency by taking advantage of a secure electronic network that can transfer medical images in minutes. More

CTC appropriately used despite reimbursement limitations
Diagnostic Imaging (registration required)
CT colonography was performed appropriately among asymptomatic patients with the proper clinical indications who did not undergo standard optical colonoscopy before 2009, when CMS halted reimbursement, according to a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. CTC, also known as virtual colonoscopy, may be preferable for many patients because it does not require sedation and is significantly less expensive than standard colonoscopy.More