Oct. 2, 2013

Question of the week
Which of the following communications do you send a patient for a service before sending the account to collections?
Click here to take the poll.

Click here to see the results from the last Hot Topics poll: What type of radiologist peer review process does your practice use as part of its quality assurance program?

Click here to access the Hot Topic archives.More

RBMA member benefit: Discount programs
RBMA endorses several programs that provide significant discounts to RBMA members as an added benefit to your membership! RBMA receives a small royalty in return for endorsing these programs, which is rolled back into member benefits by offsetting programs costs so we can keep membership dues low.

PartnerShip: As a member of RBMA, you can use the free RBMA Shipping Program to save on every shipment you send and receive — around the corner, around the country, or around the world — with world-class carriers and phenomenal customer service professionals. Visit www.partnership.com/12RBMA to enroll.

Hertz: RBMA has partnered with Hertz to provide members with car rental discounts and specials! Providing quality car rental service for over 90 years, Hertz is the largest worldwide airport general use car rental brand, operating from approximately 8,800 corporate and licensee locations in approximately 150 countries. Visit www.rbma.org/discounts to download your RBMA Discount Savings Card now.

If you have any questions or concerns about any of RBMA's affinity programs or have a suggested program for RBMA to consider endorsing in the future, please contact us at membership@rbma.org.More

New! RBMA Congressional Update: Congress' wrangling over funding the federal government and the Accountable Care Act may delay action on the Sustainable Growth Rate until the end of the year
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce passed its version of an SGR reform bill in August. The hope then was that the House Ways and Means Committee would take up the bill. However, the House's attention has been focused on passing a continuing resolution to fund the federal government that also includes a provision to defund the Accountable Care Act, so-called Obamacare. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced that the debt ceiling will need to be addressed as early as Oct. 17 to keep the federal government from defaulting on its debt. As a result, all other issues have been put on hold including action on the SGR. RBMA's Health Care and Congressional Update, created in collaboration with Washington, D.C., government affairs firm Roberti+White, describes recent developments in Congress along with progress on bills RBMA is tracking.More

RBMA 360: Resources for coders
RBMA 360 offers 360 degrees of radiology resources for professionals in any radiology setting.

Radiology coders may now access resources especially for them listed under Tools on the RBMA website. Here coders may purchase tools for ICD-10 or access Web pages supporting the ICD-10 transition.

RBMA has partnered with coding experts in the field who offer online education as well as study aids for the Radiology Certified Coder exam.

The ACR Coding Source is available to RBMA members, and the RBMA Coding Committee is creating an eNewsletter, Imaging View for Radiology, that will contain pertinent articles, updates and reminders of upcoming coding education opportunities.More

More coding resources: Attend the RBMA Interventional Radiology Coding Course
Space is still available for this two-day focused seminar on interventional radiology coding. Plus get a sneak preview of 2014 CPT codes!

The special RBMA package is still available! Register today!

In addition to your conference registration fee your special package price includes:

The conference registration fee includes sessions, continental breakfasts and lunch.

Interventional Radiology Coding Course
Oct. 17-18
American Airlines Training & Conference Center
Fort Worth, Texas

Click here for details.More

vRad education scholarships available for 2014 programs
RBMA is pleased to announce we have renewed our scholarship program with vRad for another year, offering six education scholarships to RBMA programs in 2014!

Applications are now being accepted on a rolling deadline basis until all available scholarships are awarded. Please submit your application by the following deadlines:

Program LocationDeadline
Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs Long Beach, Calif. Dec. 20, 2013
Radiology Summit Charlotte, N.C. Feb. 28, 2014
Fall Educational Conference Seattle, Wash. Aug. 15, 2014

For more information on criteria or to apply, please visit www.rbma.org/vrad.

Virtual Radiologic (vRad) is a technology-enabled national radiology practice working in partnership with local radiologists and hospitals to optimize radiology's pivotal role in patient care. vRad's more than 350 radiologists serve 2,700-plus facilities, reading 7 million studies annually. For more information, visit www.vrad.com.More

Do patients even want digital health records?
Government Health IT
While the federal government is incentivizing healthcare providers to implement and use EHR systems, and ramping up patient engagement efforts, the question of how many patients actually want to use digitized health data remains.More

Improving your practice's after-tax financial efficiency
By David B. Mandell, JD, MBA, and Carole Foos, CPA
As you likely know, when President Barack Obama signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 in early January 2013, taxes increased on high-income taxpayers like many business owners and executives — in some cases dramatically. More

Imaging-center growth hits the wall in 2013
Radiology Business Journal
Persistent decreases in outpatient imaging reimbursement and a dramatic decline in volume finally took their toll on the imaging-center market, with a resulting 3.65 percent decline in the total number of freestanding outpatient imaging centers.More

IMAGINE Software ranks on Top 200 list of US technology companies
IMAGINE Software
IMAGINE Software, a leading provider of medical billing solutions, has been ranked by technology industry research firm Lead411 on its annual list of the top 200 fastest-growing private technology companies in the United States.More

Meaningful Use program data indicates Merge is the industry leader for radiologists
Merge Healthcare Incorporated, a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare, announced that it is the most widely used Certified Electronic Health Record Technology by radiologists according to data compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.More

The Affordable Care Act's effect on medical billers
Diagnostic Imaging (registration required)
Today is a day of mixed emotions for many people across America, what with it the being the quote/unquote first official day of Obamacare and the government shutdown hanging overhead. The staunch proponents of Obamacare are joyously dancing in the streets amid a tickertape parade while those who vehemently oppose its inception are hunkered down in a fury of nail-biting anger. I think the vast majority of the population though are in a fog of miscommunication, false hope, and maybe some unnecessary worry.More

Obamacare launch hits early hitch as web traffic snarls sites
Technical glitches stalled Tuesday's launch of new insurance exchanges at the heart of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law, a slow start that could fuel the political debate over providing millions of uninsured Americans with coverage. The administration went ahead with opening day for a six-month enrollment period on the state marketplaces, or exchanges, despite a partial federal government shutdown precipitated by Republican opposition to the healthcare law that deadlocked a spending bill in Congress.More

Mega-practices on rise as docs favor larger groups
Cardiovascular Business
Supersize it. That appears to be the trend in practice size among physicians in the U.S., based on a study in Health Affairs that reported more than a quarter of physicians worked in groups of 100 or more in 2011. The study singled out cardiology to provide a local-level demonstration. Consolidation into larger physician groups is a recognized phenomenon, wrote lead author W. Pete Welch, a senior policy analyst with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. More

Republican senators ask HHS to extend Meaningful Use Stage 2 deadline
Imaging Biz
Seventeen senators have written to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to ask her to delay penalties on providers who will not be ready to meet Stage 2 requirements of the Electronic Health Records incentive program by next year. In the letter, the senators echo the concern of other health IT stakeholders about the 2014 deadline for Stage 2. More