June. 21, 2011

Complete Radiology Summit evaluations and win $$$
A big thank you goes out to all those who attended the 2011 Radiology Summit in New Orleans. We appreciate your support. In order to continue to produce valuable educational programs, we need your feedback.

Conference evaluations are now conducted electronically and are sent to you through email. Please take a moment to let us know what you think. As a bonus, include your name on the evaluation in order to be entered into a drawing to win $100. Evaluations are due June 24, and the drawing will take place after that. Thank you in advance for helping us help you!More

Deadline to reserve a hotel room for Executive Education Program is Friday
The deadline to reserve your hotel room at the special RBMA discounted rate is this Friday. If you are planning to join RBMA and fellow upper-level managers, be sure and call the hotel to reserve your room.

If you have not done so already, please register to attend.

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

Click here for details.More

Coding resources for RBMA members
The RBMA Coding Subcommittee has prepared an array of coding resources for RBMA's Coding Academy. These resources include a list of coding education resources, CPT codes for ultrasound soft tissue, CT abdomen and pelvis grid, extremity grids and "buzz" words for duplex imaging.

Click here to access the documents or download a PDF from the RBMA Gateway.More

Members who have never attended a conference can do so — for free!
Virtual Radiologic, a technology-enabled national radiology practice, has partnered with the Radiology Business Management Association to 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 to submit your application by Aug. 26, 2011.More

RBMA releases position paper on meaningful use
The Radiology Business Management Association has approved a position paper on the Medicare and Medicaid Programs' Electronic Health Record Incentive Program, commonly referred to as "meaningful use," at its June board meeting in New Orleans.

Click here to review.More

Win big in Vegas: Double your conference experience with the ACR-RBMA Forum
Mark your calendars and place your bets on going home with even more knowledge from attending two conferences in Las Vegas this fall.

The ACR-RBMA Forum 2011: New Strategies for Business and Clinical Leaders will take place Oct. 14-16 at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Join dynamic faculty for an open exchange of ideas covering current topics confronting radiologists and administrators. You won't want to miss this opportunity to develop strategies and solutions for radiology practices during these uncertain times.

Registration is now open. Click here to register today.

Then, without missing a beat, the RBMA Fall Educational Conference will begin Oct. 16 with the Exhibit Hall Grand Opening at 6 p.m.

Plan to attend this winning combination!More

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

Merge Healthcare announces offering of $52 million in Senior Secured Notes
Merge Healthcare
Merge Healthcare Incorporated announced that it intends to offer $52 million aggregate principal amount of 11.75 percent Senior Secured Notes, due 2015.More

Connecticut radiology group signs with Medical Management Professionals, Inc.
Medical Management Professionals, Inc.
MMP, a national firm providing billing and practice management services to radiologists and imaging centers, has been awarded an exclusive full practice management contract with Norwalk Radiology Consultants, P.C., located in Norwalk, Conn.More

Coding Strategies releases PocketNav for Radiology HCPCS
Coding Strategies
Coding Strategies is excited to announce the newest product in its Radiology References lineup, CSI's PocketNav for Radiology HCPCS. The new manual comes in a pocket-sized format, making it ideal for radiologic technologists and coding and billing professionals to quickly reference codes for radiopharmaceuticals, PET and MRI agents, hospital C Codes for imaging exams and much more.More

Panel urges crackdown on Medicare's use of imaging
Kaiser Health News
An influential advisory group is urging Congress to crack down on doctors who order too many MRIs for seniors, setting off a battle with physicians and patient groups who argue Medicare beneficiaries might suffer significant delays in treatment. The recommendation by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission would require some physicians who order a lot of MRIs, CT scans, nuclear medicine studies and other imaging tests to get pre-approval from Medicare.More

Radiologist salaries down almost 2 percent
Median salaries for radiologists fell one and a half percent last year yet radiology still remained one of the highest-paid specialties, according to an upcoming doctors' salary survey. In a preview of its 2011 Physician Compensation and Production Survey, to be printed in July, the Medical Group Management Association said radiologists earned a median income of $471,253 in 2010, down 1.58 percent from 2009. More

MedPAC urged to reconsider imaging reimbursement cuts
Health Leaders Media
A coalition of medical imaging organizations and patients' advocacy groups asked the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to reconsider its call for reduced reimbursements and required prior authorization for imaging services. In a letter to MedPAC Chairman Glenn Hackbarth, the Access to Medical Imaging Coalition said the commission's recommendations "would further limit access to life-saving diagnostic imaging services while yielding questionable savings for the Medicare program."More

New medical coding system taxes hospital IT resources
Computer World
A new federally mandated medical coding system designed to better track diagnoses and treatments is affecting dozens of core applications for healthcare providers and insurance payers, and is requiring a massive overhaul of IT systems that some say will be nearly impossible to complete on time. Medical providers and insurance payers are required to move from the current ICD-9 coding system to ICD-10 by Oct. 1, 2013.More

As economy recovers, radiology departments need capital to operate
Imaging Economics
It's been 3 long years since the 2008 financial meltdown. And while the economy has yet to completely turn the corner, radiology departments still have to carry on the business of imaging, including purchasing or leasing new equipment. Imaging Economics recently spoke to two prominent radiology professionals about the realities of doing business in today's market, the financial pitfalls to avoid and what the future holds.More

Relay critical results quickly to avoid malpractice suits
Aunt Minnie (subscription required)
Putting a quality improvement initiative in place to develop and reinforce critical test results communication can improve a department's performance by more than 60 percent. This not only helps patient care, it protects radiologists from malpractice suits, according to a study published this month in Radiology. More

Don't shoot holes in your physician liaison's marketing efforts
Imaging Biz
The business landscape in radiology and imaging center marketing can seem like a combat zone. It's rough out there. You and your physician liaison just might have battle scars. Where are you in this picture? Competition is increasing or shifting dramatically. Reimbursement — never a simple matter — is extra thorny. Overhead and expenses are up. Independent physicians and medical groups have rolled-up into new business entities. Imaging centers look alike to self-referring patients.More

Beware predatory practices in teleradiology
Health Care Finance News
With increased competition, the relationship between radiology groups and teleradiology providers is beginning to change. In the past, teleradiology companies offered a value-added service that allowed radiology groups to provide continuous coverage using a cost-effective business model. As the market matured, however, a handful of teleradiology providers sought new sources of funding and alternative modes of growth.More

Medicare meaningful use bonus checks go out
American Medical News
In the first two weeks of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services incentive program, $75 million was paid out in bonuses for the meaningful use of electronic medical records. CMS announced that more than 300 physicians, hospitals and other eligible EMR users qualified for the first stage of the meaningful use incentive program and received payments.More