Apr. 16, 2013

Question of the week
At your hospital-based practice or imaging center, what do you estimate is the change over the past two years in outstanding patient balances (true self-pay plus self-pay after insurance, including payment plan balances) as a percentage of the total outstanding A/R balance? Click here to take the poll.

Click here to see the results from the last Hot Topics poll: Does your imaging center or IDTF use patient satisfaction surveys?

Click here to access the Hot Topics archives.More

RBMA's 'Early Out' mini-Survey closes Friday
RBMA is conducting a mini-Survey on the use of "Early Out" or "Extended Business Office," a process of turning over self-pay accounts (including or excluding self-pay after insurance) to an outside agency for collection at an early age. The age is usually from 0 to 60 days after the account balance becomes patient responsibility. The patient balance usually stays on the practice's A/R and ages until it is either paid or turned back to the practice for bad debt write-off and collection. The outside agency acts as an extension of the practice's billing office, using the practice's name when contacting patients by calling or mailing statements, letters, etc. to collect the patient balance.

Completion of this mini-Survey should require no more than 10 minutes of your time. If you already started the mini-Survey but did not complete it, please do so as soon as possible (you will not be able to access the mini-Survey if you have already submitted it).

Please click here to access the questionnaire. The mini-Survey will be open for participation until April 19.More

RBMA member benefit: Call-A-Vendor
Are you looking for a certain product or service for your practice but don't know where to turn or how to start? Let the product or service come to you through the RBMA Call-A-Vendor program.

By clicking on the Call-A-Vendor button, you may send a broadcast email to participating vendors. The vendor who can provide you with a solution will contact you directly.More

Register for the Radiology Summit by April 26 and SAVE!
Be a prudent and effective steward of your practice's budget and register for the RBMA Radiology Summit by April 26 to receive the discounted rate. Fees will increase after April 26 and further increase onsite.

Register to attend today!

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

Click here for details.More

The deadline to reserve a hotel room at the discounted rate for the Radiology Summit is April 26
RBMA has reserved a block of rooms at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., at a discounted rate of $245 per night/single or double occupancy. In order to reserve your room, your conference registration must be processed with an approved payment. Once your application has been processed, a confirmation letter will be emailed to you within five business days. It will contain a code with which to reserve your hotel room at the special RBMA rate.

Please be sure to register for the Radiology Summit in the next five days to allow for time to receive the letter with the hotel code before the discount deadline.

See you in Colorado!

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 and is 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. For more information and terms, please visit our website.

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

When physicians see costs, they act like consumers
HealthLeaders Media
Healthcare consumers who are unaware of the varying costs of routine medical tests may take solace in knowing that many physicians don't either. "Doctors have been shielded from costs for generations," says Leonard S. Feldman, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.More

To merge or not to merge, that is the question
More and more radiology groups are combining with other 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.More

Aloha! Uh oh! Data breach in Hawaii after physician's computer is stolen
Hawaii is usually associated with paradise. Not the case, however, for a physician from Oregon Health and Science Center 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

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

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

Proposed 2014 federal budget sparks preauthorization threat
Imaging Biz
The month of April has spawned significant proposals from Congress and the president, with all signs pointing to a hot summer of negotiations as staffers sort provisions. A proposal by House Republicans to repeal the sustainable growth rate bill aims to connect payments to quality measures, but ACR officials are concerned about the inherent difficulties of evaluating the work of radiologists.More

President's 2014 budget takes on self-referral
Aunt Minnie (registration required)
In its 2014 budget plan released April 10, the Obama administration has directly targeted self-referral, proposing that certain imaging services be excluded from the in-office ancillary services exception to the federal Stark law. Unfortunately, the budget also proposes prior authorization for imaging services. Not only does the proposal address self-referral directly for the first time, it quantifies the savings that would be gained by closing this loophole — $6.1 billion over 10 years.More

EHR can't make healthcare a production line
Diagnostic Imaging (registration required)
Today's EHRs are a product of misunderstanding and miscalculation. Here's why. Can you define EHR? Probably not. It's probably one of those words that you sorta, kinda understand in context — at least you think you do — so you press on. Without a clear, shared definition, each individual imagines something different on which they base their expectations.More

The big question: What is Imaging 3.0?
Unsustainable spending, rapidly rising insurance premiums, an increasingly fragmented delivery system and burgeoning consumerism are all culminating in policy initiatives that will transform the way healthcare is provided — and paid for — across the country. The end points of this transformation are unknown, but what seems almost certain is an evolution from our current transactional visit and service-oriented delivery model to one that focuses instead on coordinated longitudinal care.More

The rising cost of healthcare fraud
Vegas Inc.
As insurance fraud prosecutions go, this one was a textbook case. Thirty-one-year-old Shanita Flax pleaded guilty to two counts of felony theft in August 2012 for a scheme in which she received money from women undergoing cosmetic breast implant procedures but ordered their implants as though they were part of breast cancer treatments. Flax pocketed the cash she collected from the women, then billed Air Force insurers for the implants.More