June. 14, 2011

Question of the Week
What type of employment agreement does your radiology practice's top-ranking non-physician administrator have with your group? Click here to take the poll.

Click here to see the results from the last Hot Topics poll: Does your hospital-based practice receive any financial assistance from its hospital for using the following types of physician extenders?

Click here for the Radiology Hot Topics archives.More

RBMA welcomes 2011 class of Fellows
In 2009, the RBMA Board of Directors approved a fellowship program to recognize significant contributions made by RBMA members to the association and the radiology business management profession. Fellow of the RBMA is a prestigious accomplishment to be held in high esteem by RBMA peers.

RBMA is proud to recognize the 2011 class of Fellows:

Patrick L. Epting, FRBMA
Renee C. Engle, RCC, FRBMA
Michael Gonzales, FRBMA
Douglas Smith, FRBMAMore

RBMA awards outstanding contributors at the Radiology Summit
Once a year, RBMA presents awards to individuals who have gone above and beyond their member role in supporting RBMA. This year's winners were announced at the Radiology Summit on June 7. The following individuals were recognized:

Randal Roat, CHBME, received the Calhoun Award for outstanding contributions to radiology business management and to RBMA.

Rosemary Broderick, FACHE, received the President's Award for going above and beyond to promote an atmosphere that enhances member networking and our motto, "Progress Through Sharing."

Cindy M. Pittmon, RCC, CHBME and Kim Longeteig both received the Global Achievement Award recognizing their outstanding time, talents and contributions to RBMA.

Julie Lester, MBA, Steve Schreiber, Robert Murphy and David Smith all received The RBMA Special Recognition Award for going above and beyond for our members, and sharing their time and talents over this last year, and throughout their many years of service.More

Revisit the Radiology Summit
Conference photographs have been posted on our Facebook wall. Thank you for attending. If you were unable to attend, see what you missed and plan to attend our next conference.

Click here to look through the Radiology Summit albums.More

Only 6 weeks until the Executive Education Program
Don't wait until the last minute — register today to attend this highly dynamic program taught by industry leaders. When you are not in sessions, enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the desert in a hotel rated Five Diamond by the AAA, The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

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

Click here for details.More

RBMA summer school
School may be out for summer, but students can continue learning through RBMA. A student is anyone who has never been a member of RBMA and is in one of the following programs:

For only $25, students receive the following benefits:
Click here to apply today.More

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

Merge Healthcare commences consent solicitation
Merge Healthcare Inc.
Merge Healthcare Incorporated announced that it commenced a consent solicitation with respect to proposed amendments to the indenture governing the company's outstanding $200 million in aggregate principal amount of 11.75 percent Senior Notes Due 2015. The proposed amendments would enable Merge to undertake an offering of an additional amount of notes under the Indenture in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $52.0 million.More

Leading health industry strategist and consultant joins Integrated Medical Partners
Integrated Medical Partners
Integrated Medical Partners, a diverse and full-service provider of profit-improvement solutions for medical-imaging practices, is pleased to announce its merger with Barrington Lakes Group, a physician-group practice management and consulting firm and a recognized thought leader in the diagnostic imaging services sector.More

HHS proposes EMR access disclosure rule
Health Leaders Media
The Department of Health and Human Services has proposed a federal rule that would require hospitals, physicians and health insurers to let patients know when their electronic medical records are accessed. The rule would be a statutory requirement under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. It would apply to any hospital, physician office or health plan employees who have access to patient records. More

Feds ask for 12-month delay for stage 2 of meaningful use
Aunt Minnie (subscription required)
The implementation of stage 2 of the U.S. government's "meaningful use" program for healthcare IT stimulus funding should be extended by 12 months, according to a recommendation by the Health IT Policy Committee of the U.S. Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. The one-year delay is being proposed in an undated, unsigned document prepared as a draft for the committee to send to Dr. Farzad Mostashari, the ONC's national coordinator. More

Greater patient access to records proposed
USA Today
A proposed federal rule would require hospitals, doctors' offices and health insurers to tell patients of anyone who has accessed their electronic medical records, if requested. Under the rule proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services, health-care-related businesses must list everyone in their firms — from doctors to data-entry clerks — who has accessed a patient's electronic records and when.More

Health Affairs: Raising quality cuts costs
Health Imaging
Driven by robust clinical information systems, rigorous performance measurement has led Intermountain Healthcare in Utah to achieve healthcare's holy grail: vastly improved patient outcomes at substantially lower costs. In the late 1980s, Intermountain Healthcare launched its first quality improvement initiative led by a statement made by the "father of quality improvement," W. Edwards Deming, who claimed that the best way to cut costs is to improve quality.More

Medical imaging and radiation therapy bill hits ground running
Diagnostic Imaging (subscription required)
A bipartisan bill to set minimum education and certification standards for technical personnel providing, planning and delivering Medicare-funded medical imaging and radiation therapy treatments is moving through Congress. U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., introduced The Consistency, Accuracy, Responsibility and Excellence in Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy bill. More

New EHRs perform better, but transition pains doctors
Information Week
For many physicians looking to apply for federal incentive payments when they adopt electronic health records, switching to newer EHRs will be necessary as they update their health information technology to demonstrate meaningful use. However, while newer systems come with improved features, the transition between systems poses significant problems, a study from Weill Cornell Medical College shows. More

Meaningful use, artificial intelligence rank among top imaging informatics trends
Imaging Biz
The top 10 trends in imaging informatics were the focus of a presentation at the opening session of the 2011 Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine meeting, held in Washington, D.C. Such trends include the use of informatics tools to address radiation dose, radiology's participation in meaningful use, artificial intelligence applications in medicine, the growth of personal electronic health records, increases in mobile technology usage, quantitative imaging, image sharing, workflow management, cloud computing and business analytics/data mining.More

Senate Democrats tell Obama to reject Republican Medicaid proposals
Forty-one Senate Democrats are urging President Barack Obama to reject GOP proposals to dramatically change Medicaid, marking the party's strongest defense yet of the federal-state health care program. The clear message: Medicaid block grants or other caps on federal Medicaid spending cannot get through the Senate.More

Today's MRI machines offer high image quality, low cost technology, greater patient comfort
Imaging Economics
Today's health care organizations seek out particular MRI equipment to meet the needs of patients and the business goals of the organization. Not every patient needs to be sequestered in an expensive, claustrophobia-producing, closed design, whole body MRI machine. For example, a high school athlete with a sprain can keep his head out of the machine while getting his ankle scanned using an MRI for limbs only. More