Jun. 11, 2013

Question of the week
What clinical and non-clinical factors does your practice take into account when measuring physician productivity?
Click here to take the poll.

Click here to see the results from the last Hot Topics poll: On average, how long do your patients wait for an appointment, from when they or their physicians call to when the earliest appointment is available?

Click here to access the Hot Topics archives.More

Member benefit: New forum added for RBMA members
All RBMA members have the benefit of participating in RBMA Forums — the best way to network and share information. The forums are essentially a listserv, allowing you to send and receive emails to/from your preferred email address — so you can post your own inquiries or respond to others' without needing to leave the comfort of your own email account!

RBMA is pleased to announce the creation of an additional forum: Radiology Integration Models, bringing our total number of forums to six! Other forums include Coding, Hospital Practices, Payor Relations, Practice Management and Marketing.

The Radiology Integration Models Forum is for RBMA members to share their experiences, ask questions, and stay abreast of the latest with respect to Accountable Care Organizations, alternative payment models to fee-for-service, and hospital-radiology integration developments.

Forums are a members-only benefit, but RBMA does permit forum-only subscriptions to the Coding, Practice Management and Marketing forums for staff of RBMA members for $100 per forum, per year.

To subscribe yourself or a member of your staff to RBMA Forums, please click here!More

RBMA and ACR publish 2013 Capitation Handbook
The RBMA's Payor Relations Committee and the ACR's Managed Care Committee have completed work on the 2013 Capitation Handbook. The handbook is intended to: (1) prepare radiologists and their executive staff to participate in payment systems where the risk/savings is shared by individual physician practices or integrated multispecialty physician practices, (2) examine the role of capitation of radiology services in future delivery systems, and (3) address how radiology practices can prepare themselves to be competitive in this environment. The handbook discusses the various rate-setting methodologies associated with capitation as well as providing population-based imaging utilization data. Strategies for negotiating a capitation contract, including risk corridors, are covered.More

Save the date for RBMA's 2014 Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs
Radiology's top marketing course and one of RBMA's most popular seminars, Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs will be held from Sunday, March 9, to Tuesday, March 11, 2014, at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel, 111 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802-4794.

Start planning your California visit today, and watch for details at www.rbma.org.More

Apply for a scholarship and attend the RBMA Fall Educational Conference for FREE
The vRad Education Scholarship is awarded to individuals who are current members of RBMA and who have not attended an RBMA conference in the last three years. The scholarship will cover registration fees and other costs qualified applicants incur for attending the meeting, up to $1,500.

The deadline to submit your application for a vRad Education Scholarship to use toward the Fall Educational Conference is July 5. Click here for details.More

Become a Radiology Certified Coder this year!
The RCCB® certification program is designed to seek out the motivated coder desiring to become an expert in the field.

Employers who have certified coders can feel confident that billing claims are submitted with accurate and compliant codes. The result is higher reimbursements faster.

Coders who are certified give credibility to the vocation and are viewed as professionals in the field. Certification increases employment opportunities and creates personal success.

RCCB has made the process to become certified easier by offering computer-based testing at 20 locations nationwide. The next available test dates are July 22-26. To reserve your spot and invest in your career's future, please submit your application to the RCCB office no later than June 17.

Click here for more information.More

OIG issues updated advisory: Are you hiring excluded people?
It is more important than ever that healthcare providers ensure that no current employee or contractor has been excluded from the federal healthcare program. The HHS Office of Inspector General has statutory authority to exclude people from federal healthcare programs, including Medicare.More

'Senior moment' comment leads to age discrimination claim
Typically, stray or innocuous remarks at work are found by courts to be insufficient, standing alone, to furnish the basis for a discrimination claim. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in the case of Curtis v. Unionville-Chadds Ford Sch. Dist., E.D. Pa., No. 2:12-CV-04786 (May 2, 2013), however, recently found that repeated comments than an employee was having a "senior moment" could furnish a basis for an age discrimination claim.More

EEOC issues new guidance on specific disabilities
On May 15, the EEOC issued four documents that provide up-to-date guidance on disability discrimination related to four specific conditions.More

The federal Medicare Fraud Strike Force charges providers with defrauding Medicare and other private health insurers
Over the course of the past few months, as part of a nationwide takedown by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, 89 defendants, including doctors, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals, have been charged for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes collectively involving approximately $233 million in false billings.More

Watchful waiting with meaningful use in radiology?
Diagnostic Imaging (registration required)
Are you waiting to jump head-first into the federal government's meaningful use program? That might not be a bad idea, according to David Avrin, MD, PhD, FSIIM, of the University of California San Francisco. Arvin advocated a strategy of "watchful waiting vs. making a square peg fit in a round hole," he said, speaking at the annual meeting of SIIM 2013.More

New 2013 RBMA members: Use your RBMA Bucks before they expire
Please note that your RBMA Bucks will expire on June 30. To redeem that benefit and use the full $360 toward the Fall Educational Conference, order your RBMA Bucks voucher.More

6 ways Obamacare changes insurance premiums
The Washington Post
Perhaps it's worth simplifying this discussion about premiums under Obamacare a bit. This whole conversation is about the individual insurance exchanges, which effectively replace today's individual market (and have nothing to do with the insurance offered by Medicare, Medicaid or employers). More

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

How to kill paper and survive in the new healthcare model
Health Imaging
Radiology is drowning in paper outside of the reading room, Paul J. Chang, MD, vice chairman of radiology informatics at University of Chicago School of Medicine, acknowledged during an educational session at the annual meeting of the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine. Truly paperless radiology and closed loop imaging may represent the ideal survival strategy for radiology. More

Study: Consumers saved $2.1 billion on individual coverage under health law
Kaiser Health News
People who bought their own health insurance last year saved $2.1 billion because of the federal health law, mainly because of a provision that limits how much of their premium can go to insurers' administration and profits, says a report out from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The researchers estimate that premiums for the 11 million Americans who buy their own insurance would have been $1.9 billion higher in 2012 without the law.More

Uncertainty is hard for doctors
The New York Times
My patient came to me for advice. His cardiologist was recommending that he get an I.C.D., a type of defibrillator, implanted in his heart. My patient hadn't suffered any abnormal heart rhythms, but his heart was enlarged and he was at risk. If malignant heart rhythms arose, he could die if there wasn't immediate defibrillation available. An I.C.D. could shock his heart back into a normal rhythm. However, putting in an I.C.D. is an invasive procedure with definite risks. More

ACR stresses value of care over cost in response to NYT story
Imaging Biz
The New York Times article "The $2.7 Trillion Medical Bill: Colonoscopies Explain Why U.S. Leads the World in Health Expenditures" might lead some people to skip needed screening warns the ACR in a response to the front page story for the Times' Sunday paper and website. The important take-away from the story should not be that less screening is needed, the ACR points out. Instead it should lead to questions about which patients need what type of screening.More

Physician practices pressured to review revenue cycle management
Health Leaders Media
The changes associated with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, electronic medical record implementation, and new Medicare rules mean that physician practices are under increasing pressure, says Nancy Ruff, director of health advisory services for CTG Health Solutions, a consulting company in Dallas. Optimizing your revenue requires clearing some new hurdles and aggressive strategies, she says.More

Web-based program helps sites cut inappropriate imaging
Cardiovascular Business
Sites that completed a web-based community and quality improvement project reduced rates of inappropriate imaging from 10 percent to 5 percent. Samira Saifi, MHA, of Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., and colleagues reported the results for a proof-of-concept study to assess the American College of Cardiology's project, FOCUS (Formation of Optimal Cardiovascular Utilization Strategies). More