July 19, 2011

Last chance to meet with executives
The Executive Education Program begins this Thursday, July 21. Registrations will be accepted onsite.

Airfare to Phoenix is still affordable! 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

The Fall Educational Conference is more than your usual meeting
The Fall Educational Conference has expanded to include:

RBMA 2011 Fall Educational Conference,
Oct. 16-19
Aria Resort & Casino
Las Vegas. Nev.

Make the most out of your time in Las Vegas and attend one, two or all three of these amazing programs.

Click here for details.More

More on the ACR-RBMA Forum
Plan to attend this informative program with your physician! Beginning on Friday, Oct. 14, 2011, a full day of pre-conference sessions* will cover Emerging Radiology Practice Models-Threats or Opportunities. On Saturday, Oct. 15, learn strategies for Coping and Succeeding with the Rapid Change in Radiology Payment Systems. Finally, finish with a half-day on Sunday, Oct. 16, with Leadership in Radiology: A Necessity, Not a Luxury.

You can’t afford to miss this.

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

Aria Resort & Casino
Las Vegas, Nev.

Click here for details.

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

*Separate fee requiredMore

This Friday is last day to participate in meaningful use mini-Survey
Please help us better understand the current state of affairs with respect to meaningful use implementation by completing the Meaningful Use of EHR Technology mini-Survey. The results of this survey may also be used in future advocacy efforts on your behalf. The deadline to complete the survey is this Friday, July 22.

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.More

RBMA partners with vRad to offer members additional educational resources
RBMA has partnered with vRad to develop several white papers educating members on best practices in topic areas, such as quality assurance procedures, radiology technology and workflow, and billing. The goal of the partnership is to enhance and reinforce RBMA members' overall knowledge — with the ultimate goal of improving patient care.

The first white paper entitled Eight Workflow Pitfalls that Impair a Practice's Efficiency is now available. RBMA members may access the complete article here.More

You have the attention of your member of Congress: Now what?
On July 12, 2011, Ted Burnes, MPA, Bob Still and Rich White, JD, presented an informative webinar on conducting a meeting with your member of Congress. With radiology the target of cuts by Medicare, it is vital that members of Congress see firsthand how cuts will affect the practice of radiology.

It is not too late to find out best method to conduct an office or imaging center visit by your member of Congress. The audio file of this webinar is now available here.More

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

PSC Info Group wins 'Innovators Choice' in 2011 Brilliant Communications Awards
PSC Info Group
PSC Info Group, a national provider of innovative, technology-enabled solutions and proven revenue acceleration tools to streamline the collection of consumer payments, has been named winner of the "Innovators Choice Award" in Pitney Bowes's inaugural Brilliant Communications Awards program. The award was announced at Pitney Bowes' annual Global Document Messaging Technologies Customer Summit.More

Coding Strategies introduces 2 new references for compliance
Coding Strategies
Coding Strategies is excited to announce the release of two new references specifically for coding and billing compliance. Both guides provide the information needed to build or evaluate coding and billing compliance programs.More

Budget expert: Don't expect Medicare cuts in debt deal
Kaiser Health News
Stan Collender, a partner at Qorvis Communications, says that recent proposals regarding the U.S. debt ceiling highlight the continuing partisan divide. The former congressional budget staffer and author of "The Guide to the Federal Budget" believes that President Barack Obama's push for a "grand" package of entitlement spending reductions and new revenue, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's "last-choice option," are more a matter of politics than policy. More

Accusations fly over obscure Medicare board
The Associated Press via The Philadelphia Inquirer
So long death panels. Hello "rationing" board. An independent panel authorized by President Barack Obama's health care law to control excessive Medicare cost increases is drawing heavy fire from Republicans. Nearly every health industry lobbying group is pushing for its repeal, as are some consumer advocates. GOP lawmakers call it a rationing panel, and at least one has suggested seniors will die from its decisions.More

Radiologist fined $5.7 million for fraudulent services claims
Imaging Biz
In another step for the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team initiative, announced in 2009 by Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Las Vegas radiologist Rakesh Nathu has agreed to pay the U.S. government $5.7 million plus interest to settle allegations that he submitted false claims to federal health care programs for various radiation oncology services.More

Raising Medicare costs may be gaining traction
Los Angeles Times
The heated debate over the federal deficit has pumped new life into controversial proposals for requiring Americans on Medicare to pay more for their health care, raising the possibility that seniors' medical bills could jump hundreds or even thousands of dollars. It remains unclear if any of the proposals, which congressional Republicans have demanded to cut trillions of dollars from the federal budget, will be enacted this year.More

Health spending may be leveling off
National Journal
Health care spending may be leveling off — it grew at an annual rate of only 4.7 percent in the first four months of 2011, according to the Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending. That compares to 3.9 percent annual growth in 2010, and is likely up as more people make use of health care services. The nonprofit health systems research and consulting organization said health care price inflation has actually slowed in recent months.More

3 hidden hospital cost saving strategies
Health Leaders Media
In an era when healthcare organizations are laser-focused on cost, obvious excesses in spending are long gone. That doesn't mean the pressure to increase efficiency and reduce expenses has ended — it simply means that organizations have to look more closely at what they do, how they do it and how much value they receive. Today it's possible for your facility to become still more efficient without sacrificing performance and morale. More

U.S. medical devices spending steady
Reuters Health via Aunt Minnie (registration required)
Medical devices accounted for about 6 percent of the total U.S. health spending in 2009, barely changed from 10 years earlier and slightly higher than two decades ago, according to an industry report. Device prices also have risen more slowly than for prescription drugs and other medical products, according to the study sponsored by the Advanced Medical Technology Association.More

Pros and cons of ultrasound worksheets
Diagnostic Imaging (registration required)
Some sono techs like ultrasound worksheets; they help organize the sonographers' work, streamline dictations, serve as prelims, etc. Others feel that the sheets serve no useful function, or are even detrimental. Some places don't use them at all.More

How hospitals address patient experience via mobile apps
Health Leaders Media
The number of people using mobile technology is on the rise. In 2008, the number of smartphone subscribers was 15 million. That number almost doubled in 2009, reaching 26 million, and is expected to grow to roughly 142 million in 2011, according to Nielsen Mobile, which tracks wireless trends. So it's no surprise that creating smartphone applications is an area that hospitals want to take advantage of. More