July 12, 2011

Question of the Week
What type of radiologist peer review process does your practice use as part of its quality assurance program? Click here to take the poll.

Click here to see the results from the last Hot Topics poll: Do the radiologists in your group report on PQRS measures through claims-based or registry-based reporting of either individual measures or measures groups, and if so, did they receive PQRS incentive payments for 2009?

Click here for the Radiology Hot Topics archives.More

Time to mosey on down to Arizona
Join friends and colleagues for RBMA's only executive level seminar offered this year. Registrations will be accepted onsite.

Airfare to Phoenix is still affordable one week out! Don’t miss this once a year opportunity to connect and share ideas and solutions with seasoned managers.

Executive Education Program
July 21-23

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Scottsdale, Ariz.

Click here for details.More

Fall Educational Conference registration is now open
Make a commitment today to enhance your education by registering to attend the RBMA 2011 Fall Educational Conference on Oct. 16-19 at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

This year's fall meeting will offer five tracks:

Click here for details.More

Plan a longer stay in Las Vegas: Attend the ACR-RBMA Forum
Arrive a few days early to attend a valuable leadership seminar for practice leaders and physicians. For the third year, RBMA has partnered with ACR and a dynamic faculty for an open exchange of ideas covering current topics confronting radiologists and administrators. Cover the state of radiology from the 30,000-foot view before narrowing your focus into specific tracks offered at the Fall Educational Conference.

New Strategies for Business and Clinical Leaders in Radiology
Oct. 14-16

Aria Resort & Casino
Las Vegas
Click here for details.

Sponsorships are available for Corporate Members. Click here for details.More

Help us understand current state of affairs with respect to meaningful use
Help us better understand the current state of affairs with respect to meaningful use implementation. The results of this survey may also be used in future advocacy efforts on your behalf. Please take a moment to complete this quick and very important survey.

We recommend that a senior member of your organization, with knowledge of its activities related to meaningful use, complete this mini-Survey. Please forward this to the appropriate person if it is not you.

Please click here to access the mini-Survey. You may also download a PDF version of the questionnaire to use as a worksheet to collect your responses.

The deadline to complete the Meaningful Use of EHR Technology mini-Survey is Friday, July 22.More

Attend an RBMA conference for FREE
Thanks to a generous donation from vRad, RBMA members who have never attended a conference before will have the chance to attend a conference or meeting of their choice for free. vRad will provide six $1,500 scholarships that 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.

The deadline to submit your application is Aug. 26.

Click here for details.More

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

CMS proposed rule expands multiple procedure payment reductions to professional component of advanced imaging services
On July 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a proposed rule addressing modifications to physician payment policies and rates for 2012. Included in the rule is a proposal to expand the Multiple Procedure Payment Reduction policy to the professional component of certain imaging procedures.More

Business opportunity for radiologists: On-site employee health clinics
Wouldn't it be nice if employees could receive MRI scans on-site at their places of work? In fact, an increasing number of large, mid-size and small companies across the United States are offering various levels of on-site primary care and specialty services to their employees (some even offering healthcare services to dependants as well).More

HIPAA audits are coming: Are you prepared?
In recent months, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Civil Rights have revved up their efforts in enforcing the Privacy and Security Rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act through plans to conduct audits of covered entities and business associates.More

Employers beware: With new round of audits, ICE seeks to chill illegal hiring
On June 15, the Department of Homeland Security launched a wide-scale audit of employers' hiring records to assess compliance with employment eligibility verification laws. For the second time this year, Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office delivered Notices of Inspection to 1,000 employers advising that ICE will audit those employers' I-9 forms.More

EEOC on the Americans with Disabilities Act: One rule — no clear boundaries
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held an open meeting on June 8 on the appropriate use of disability leave as a reasonable accommodation at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. The open meeting is just the latest step in the EEOC's on-going effort to move the marketplace towards its enforcement position that employers may not implement one-size-fits-all leave periods for disabled employees.More

Zotec Partners signs contract with award-winning Los Angeles hospital
Zotec Partners
Zotec Partners, an industry leader in medical billing, practice management and Radiology Information Systems software and services, announces that Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier, Calif., has signed a services contract with the company to manage revenue cycle management for its radiology department. PIH was named in 2011 as one of the best hospitals in Los Angeles in U.S. News & World Report's "Best Hospitals Metro Area" rankings.More

ACR: Cuts in proposed CMS rule will drive radiologists from practice
Imaging Biz
Coupled with drastic cuts to imaging services over the past five years, significant and unwarranted medical imaging cuts in the Proposed Medicare Fee Schedule Rule for 2012 formulated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will drive many imaging providers from practice, restrict access to care even for procedures not specifically affected by them, and may actually increase Medicare costs for many of these services, according to the American College of Radiology.More

CMS hits imaging again with new MPFS cut
Aunt Minnie (registration required)
The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is again targeting medical imaging for payment cuts. This time, the agency is proposing a 50 percent cut in the professional component of imaging studies performed on the same patient on the same day. The proposal is generating howls of protest from radiology advocates. More

FDA proposes less stringent oversight of diagnostic, radiology devices
Cardiovascular Business
In an effort to reduce regulatory burden for in vitro diagnostic and radiology devices, the FDA stated its intent to exempt a number of devices from certain premarket regulatory requirements. In a draft guidance, the FDA proposed a list of 30 different device types for which less stringent oversight would not compromise public health.More

A dozen states slice Medicaid payments to doctors, hospitals
Kaiser Health News
To contain soaring Medicaid costs, about a dozen cash-strapped states are kicking off their new budget years by reducing payments to doctors, hospitals and other health care providers that treat the poor. That worries some health care experts who say the cuts, most of which went into effect July 1 or very soon within the month, could exacerbate a shortage of physicians and other providers participating in Medicaid. More

Report: Patients overpaying for imaging
Health Imaging & IT
Payors and patients may be vastly overpaying for some of the most common CT, MRI and mammography exams owing to huge price disparities both within and across regions, according to a quarterly report issued by change:healthcare. As concern over the growing cost of medical imaging continues, change:healthcare found that plans may pay as much as 700 percent more for exams by not shopping around.More

Medicare cuts for imaging could cut access to care
Medscape Today (registration required)
A federal proposal to reduce Medicare physician reimbursement for multiple computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound scans (i.e., those performed on the same patient on the same day in the same setting) could presage similar cutbacks for all imaging services, and even all diagnostic tests.More

Reform needed in medical technology sector, report indicates
Imaging Biz
Spiraling health care expenditures paralleled by increasing health care costs and premium rates of medical care are creating a real and urgent need for reform in the medical technology sector worldwide, indicates a new report from research firm Frost & Sullivan. The report highlights the finding that in order to improve health care, it is important to understand the interrelationship between medical outcomes, accessibility to services and quality information for patients. More

A guide to health insurance exchanges
Kaiser Health News
It seems like a simple idea: create new marketplaces, called "exchanges," where consumers can comparison shop for health insurance, sort of like shopping online for a hotel room or airline ticket. But, like almost everything else connected with the health law, state-based insurance "exchanges" are embroiled in politics. More