Aug. 14, 2012

Question of the week
Did your partner radiologists' W-2 compensation change in 2011 compared with 2010 and, if so, by approximately what percentage?
Click here to take the poll.

Click here to see the results from the last Hot Topics poll:

What type(s) of physician extenders does your group employ?

Click here for the Radiology Hot Topics archives.More

Attend the Fall Educational Conference FREE
Virtual Radiologic (vRad), a technology-enabled national radiology practice, has partnered with the RBMA to provide RBMA members additional educational opportunities within the field of radiology.

Through the partnership, vRad will provide three $1,500 scholarships to RBMA members who have not attended an RBMA conference in the past five years. The scholarships will cover registration fees and other costs qualified applicants incur for attending the meeting.

Scholarship applications are now being accepted for 2012 programs. Submit your application by Aug. 31 to be considered for the 2012 ACR-RBMA Forum and RBMA Fall Educational Conference.

Click here for details.More

Marketing-focused courses offered at the Fall Educational Conference
Over the last decade, physicians and administrators have realized the importance of marketing their radiology practices in order to stay competitive, gain visibility and attract referring physicians and more patients.

The art of marketing has changed over the years with the increased need of a website presence and the advent of social media. Join social media expert Kim Longeteig as she delves further into the importance of a well-organized and written website when she presents Search + Social: Boost Your Search Engine Results. Learn how a story can really sell your practice when Kim also presents Turn Your Marketing Department Into a Storytelling Powerhouse.

Moving away from the practice into the hospital sector, find out how marketing a hospital-based practice is now necessary for future growth when Deborah MacFarlane, MBA, presents Marketing the Hospital-Based Practice.

Register to attend these sessions and more!

Fall Educational Conference
Oct. 7-10
Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa
Chandler, Ariz.

Click here for details.More

RBMA once again offers the Interventional Radiology Coding Course
Back by popular demand, coding experts Jeff Majchrzak, BA, R.T.(R)(ARRT), CNMT, RCC, CIRCC, and Ezequiel "Zeke" Silva III, MD, RCC, will be presenting a two-day program that will focus on CPT/HCPCS code assignment and assist the attendee in understanding core rules, regulations and definitions needed to confidently code Interventional Radiology (IR) services.

A large amount of time will be dedicated to the hands-on coding of difficult cases submitted by attendees. See what RBMA staff member Angela Carroccia had to say at a previous seminar here.

Interventional Radiology Coding Course
Oct. 6-7
Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa
Chandler, Ariz.

Click here for details.More

Earn continuing education units at the ACR-RBMA Forum
For the fourth year in a row, the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the RBMA have partnered to present a combined conference for radiologist and administrators.

This two-day leadership program will qualify for the following continuing education units:

Plan to attend!

ACR-RBMA Forum: New Strategies for
Business and Clinical Leaders in Radiology
Oct. 5-7
Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa
Chandler, Ariz.

Click here for more information.More

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

SimonMed Imaging selects Merge's radiology and interoperability solutions
Merge Healthcare Inc.
Merge Healthcare Incorporated, a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare, announced that SimonMed Imaging, the largest specialized outpatient physician imaging practice in the country, will implement Merge's integrated suite of radiology solutions along with iConnect® Access and iConnect® VNA to provide anywhere, anytime viewing of images and achieve Meaningful Use.More

Can hospital chains improve the medical industry?
The New Yorker
In medicine, we are trying to deliver a range of services to millions of people at a reasonable cost and with a consistent level of quality. But we haven't figured out how. Our costs are soaring, the service is typically mediocre, and the quality is unreliable. Every clinician has his or her own way of doing things, and the rates of failure and complication (not to mention the costs) for a given service routinely vary.More

FAQ: How Paul Ryan proposes to change medicare
Kaiser Health News
Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's choice for vice president, has provoked consternation from Democrats and anxiety among some congressional Republicans with his proposals to reshape Medicare. The Republican-controlled House, along party lines, twice approved his proposals to overhaul the popular social insurance program for the elderly and disabled by giving beneficiaries a set amount of money every year to buy coverage from competing health plans. More

23 health policy experts recommend competitive bidding for imaging
Imaging Biz
Among the 11 ideas for bending the cost curve in healthcare offered in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine are several that directly concern medical imaging providers — most notably the proposal to institute competitive bidding for all "commodities" and create price transparency for consumers. The number of notable names among the authors signing on to this idea may give pause. More

Cigna plans aggressive expansion for ACO-like program
Health Leaders Media
Cigna is doubling down on its commercial ACO strategy. The insurer has accelerated the development of its collaborative accountable care program. The CAC is Cigna's variation on the accountable care organizations created as part of federal healthcare reform. Cigna's version of the commercial ACO is an insurer-physician partnership that provides coordinated care to improve quality and contain healthcare costs.More

How federal regulations apply to radiology marketing
Diagnostic Imaging (registration required)
The radiology market is more competitive today than ever before, and proposals to decrease reimbursement make maintaining and growing your client base essential. Doing so means marketing your services to referring physicians and patients. Federal laws, however, dictate what you can and can't do to promote your practice. Navigating these rules can be tricky, and if you break them, repercussions can be significant.More

ACP warns physicians of 'government overreach'
Aunt Minnie (registration required)
The American College of Physicians is recommending that state and federal governments adopt seven principles to avoid passing legislation that interferes with the patient-physician relationship and appropriate care. Essentially, ACP's guidelines would eliminate regulatory requirements creating "undue burdens" that may limit access to healthcare or unnecessarily divert from the time physicians spend with their patients.More