June. 7, 2011

vRad announces education scholarship for RBMA members at Radiology Summit
Virtual Radiologic, a technology-enabled national radiology practice, and Radiology Business Management Association are pleased to announce a new partnership that will provide RBMA members additional educational opportunities within the field of radiology. Through the partnership, vRad will also provide six $1,500 scholarships to RBMA members who have not attended an RBMA conference. The scholarships will cover registration fees and other costs qualified applicants incur for attending the meeting. The first scholarships will be awarded for attendance at the 2011 Fall Educational Conference.

Click here for details.More

Seminar for upper-level managers
The Executive Education Program is geared toward upper-level senior managers. Join peers for two and a half days of listening, learning and then leaving with new knowledge and a wider perspective on radiology and the future.

Register to attend today!

Executive Education Program
July 21-23
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
7575 East Princess Drive
Scottsdale, Ariz.

Click here for details.More

The 3rd and final winner of $50 in RBMA Bucks is ...
… Josh Kublnick, who posted a message or question on the RBMA Radiology Summit Wall in the last week.

RBMA Bucks can be redeemed toward any RBMA product, seminar or conference.

Thank you to all who participated. Keep the chatter going by continuing to post on the RBMA Facebook wall!More

This is the last week to tell us off!
This Friday, June 10, is the deadline to complete the Annual Members' Assessment Survey.

This is your chance to speak your mind and lend a hand in shaping your association. Click here to access the survey.More

What is a radiologist's role in an ACO?
Accountable care organization (commonly referred to as an ACO) is the new buzz phrase swarming the medical community. Since ACOs are still a relatively new concept, radiologists are wondering how they can play a role in an ACO.More

FDA approves first mobile application for diagnostic radiology
Earlier this year, the FDA cleared the first mobile device application allowing physicians to view diagnostic radiology images on iPhones and iPads. The mobile application, Mobile MIM, allows a physician to view CT scans, MRI scans, and nuclear medicine technology, such as PET scans, through his or her mobile device. While the FDA has approved the mobile application, it is not intended to replace a full workstation and is indicated only for use where the physician does not have access to a workstation.More

Medicare reimbursement for beneficiaries with permanent pacemakers
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have proposed modifying the current National Coverage Determination Manual to cover reimbursement for MRIs performed on Medicare beneficiaries with permanent pacemakers.More

Issues in treating personnel as independent contractors
Are you correctly classifying your physicians and personnel as independent contractors versus employees? Be aware that the IRS and state tax agencies are cracking down on companies that mischaracterize their physicians and personnel as independent contractors, with the goal of boosting their tax revenues.More

Increased activity by National Labor Relations Board
Following recent appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, the Board has been, and is predicted to continue to be, increasingly active in its enforcement of the National Labor Relations Act.More

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

Merge Healthcare to present at Jefferies 2011 Global Healthcare Conference
Business Wire
Merge Healthcare, a global corporation dedicated to health IT interoperability solutions, announced that Justin Dearborn, President & Chief Financial Officer, will present at the Jefferies 2011 Global Healthcare Conference in New York City.More

IMAGINE Software secures new contracts across United States
IMAGINE Software
Technology Partners, Inc. (doing business as IMAGINE Software), a leading provider of medical billing solutions, announces the recent addition of six new clients from across the United States. The contracts consist of multiple hospital-based and physician-based billing services facilities located in Missouri, Texas, South Carolina, Alabama and New York.More

Health-care initiative draws fire
The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
Hospitals and doctors are pushing back against an Obama administration initiative that urges them to create new organizations to coordinate the care of groups of Medicare patients. The voluntary program seeks to save money and improve treatment. But the health-care providers say the rules proposed for the initiative are too onerous and the financial incentives too weak, and that they will participate only if the program gets a major revamp.More

HHS proposes privacy rule on medical records
Patients could obtain a list of everyone who has accessed their electronic medical record under a rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Health-care providers must currently keep track of everyone who accesses private medical records, but they do not have to provide that information to patients.More

Brain scans may improve autism diagnosis
MedPage Today
Brain changes measured by functional MRI may provide a more accurate diagnosis for autism, researchers said. As children listened to a recording of their parents' voices, activity in the superior temporal gyrus differed significantly between those with autism and those without, Joy Hirsch, PhD, of Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues reported online in Radiology.More

House Democrats to Obama: Don't cave on Medicare
Los Angeles Times
House Democrats pressed President Obama not to cave in budget talks with Republicans, especially by yielding on cuts to Medicare. Maintaining the Medicare program for seniors was a major component of the conversation, and several Democratic leaders urged the president to stand firmly against cuts.More

Fees, cost shifting may blunt cost savings from RBMs
Aunt Minnie (registration required)
Much of the health care savings attributed to the use of radiology benefits managers are swallowed up by fees, while other "savings" may in fact simply be the shifting of health care costs to physicians, according to a study in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.More

Thermogram no substitute for mammogram
Despite widely publicized claims to the contrary, thermography should not be used in place of mammography for breast cancer screening or diagnosis. The Food and Drug Administration says mammography — an X-ray of the breast — is still the most effective way of detecting breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages. Thermography produces an infrared image that shows the patterns of heat and blood flow on or near the surface of the body.More

Congressmen to MedPAC: Re-examine utilization data
Imaging Biz
Questioning the validity of its conclusion that medical imaging has comprised a major driver of Medicare spending growth, Reps. Joseph Pitts, R-Pennsylvania, and Frank Pallone Jr., D-New Jersey, are urging the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to "re-examine the data" regarding medical imaging utilization.More

Despite incentives, cost is a barrier to small provider EHR use
Government Health IT
The cost, physician practice size, and lack of technical resources still present barriers for small health care providers in adopting electronic health records and participating in the meaningful use incentive program. Solo practitioners and small practices find it difficult to locate a lender willing to offer them an unsecured loan, said Dr. Sasha Kramer, a solo practitioner dermatologist in Olympia, Wash. Others who try to finance their electronic health record system with the vendor have no leverage in negotiating terms because of their limited market share.More

Commoditization can be impetus for positive change
Aunt Minnie (registration required)
None of the four experts who presented the "pro" and "con" sides of commoditization in a debate at the Canadian Association of Radiologists 2011 annual meeting truly feels positively about this trend. However, they do agree that radiologists need to do what they can to ensure that procedure reimbursement takes into account the high levels of professionalism among radiologists and the quality of service to the hospitals and communities they serve.More

IOM calls for Medicare reimbursement formula overhaul
Health Leaders Media
Medicare needs to change the controversial way it uses geographic price variables to calculate physicians and hospital reimbursement in order to more accurately reflect the cost of providing care for 39 million beneficiaries, the Institute of Medicine recommended in a lengthy report.More

Speech recognition technology is entering next-generation cycle
Imaging Economics
For some physicians, watching their spoken words become written text on the screen before them in near-real time is a futuristic technology still in the future. Yet for the greater portion of radiologists, this technological "wonder" is already old school. Some have been using it for many, many years. Now, next-generation technologies are poised to bring speech recognition to new levels, new disciplines and new competitions.More