Oct. 16, 2013

Question of the week
Who handles day-to-day and long-term management of your practice's corporate compliance program? Click here to take the poll.

Click here to see the results from the last Hot Topics poll: Which of the following communications do you send a patient for a service before sending the account to collections?

Click here to access the Hot Topics archives.More

RBMA member benefit: Chapter websites
Did you know RBMA Chapters have their own websites, housed on RBMA's website? Chapters are frequently updating their sites with news and upcoming meetings, so check back often! Each page also lists its Chapter officers.

Visit www.rbma.org/Chapters to link to the Chapter websites, or use the quick links below:

Arkansas Northeast
California Ohio
Colorado Oklahoma
Florida Oregon
Georgia Rocky Mountain
Kentucky Tennessee
Michigan Texas
New England Washington State

Chapter meeting dates are also posted on the RBMA Calendar.

If a chapter does not exist in your area, you may want to consider starting a chapter. If you are interested in starting a chapter, contact Jessica Struve, RBMA membership manager, at 703.621.3359 or email jessica.struve@rbma.org.More

Onsite registration available for the RBMA Interventional Radiology Coding Course
Space is available for a few more individuals to attend the RBMA Interventional Radiology Coding Course in Fort Worth, Texas, this week. The registration desk will open at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17, for your convenience.

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

Click here for details.More

2013 Fall Educational Conference recordings are now available
If you missed attending the RBMA Fall Educational Conference in Boston, Mass., last month you may revisit the events by purchasing the conference recordings and handouts in the RBMA store.

If you did attend, you may access the recordings that are now posted on the confidential webpage previously sent to you. Please contact the RBMA office if you need that link again.More

Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs is open for registration
Registration is now open for one of RBMA's most well-attended seminars. Catch the next wave of marketing trends and experience three intense days of informative and innovative education in California's urban waterfront playground — Long Beach, Calif.!

Plus, attend the 9th Annual Quest Awards Ceremony. Start collecting your showcase marketing samples. Entry applications will be available soon!

Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs
March 9-11, 2014
The Renaissance Long Beach Hotel
Long Beach, Calif.

RBMA Stipends and Quality Measures mini-Survey closes Oct. 25
RBMA is conducting a mini-Survey designed to collect information on hospital stipend types and amounts, elimination of stipends, quality measure types, and potential and actual bonus amounts for meeting or exceeding the quality measure standards. Responses are confidential, and will be reported only in aggregated form.

Because it collects actual stipend amounts and potential and actual quality measure incentive bonus amounts, the time to complete the mini-Survey will depend on the applicability of those questions to your practice and the availability of the data, but should require no more than 10-15 minutes for most respondents.

The mini-Survey will be open to RBMA members until Oct. 25.

An invitation with a link to access the mini-Survey was emailed to all RBMA members on Oct. 7; you can also access the mini-Survey through the RBMA website.More

RBMA 360: Resources for marketers
RBMA 360 offers 360 degree of radiology resources for professionals in any radiology setting.

Radiology marketers may now access resources especially for them listed under Tools on the RBMA website. Here marketers can find a branding checklist, marketing position descriptions and a sample RFP.

In addition, RBMA 360 now has a quick, at-your-fingertips pull-down menu on the homepage that lists resources especially for marketers in one place. Simply click on "I am a" on the homepage and then on "Marketer" for the most recent resources available.More

The health insurance exchanges make a shaky start
Approaching the second week of the health insurance exchange rollout, the federal HIX site, healthcare.gov, is experiencing significant stability issues. The Obama Administration blames the issues on design limitations written into the new software and that has been compounded by high traffic volumes on the website.

The federal government is operating the master HIX for 36 states on this unstable platform. Enrollment numbers have yet to be reported. Although the Administration is reporting high traffic volume, that does not necessarily mean large numbers of people are actually enrolling for healthcare coverage on the federal HIX. The Administration has promised real enrollment numbers on a regular basis, but no one is certain when that will begin.

The HIX rollout has had some successes, however. The 14 state-run exchanges have had a (somewhat) easier time with the rollout. For example, 40,000 people enrolled in New York and nearly 30,000 people signed up for coverage in California. The reliability and accessibility of the state-run exchanges vary widely, as do their enrollment numbers, but they are generally faring better than the federal exchange.

The Administration has shut down its exchange overnight to implement software fixes, and needs to improve the site's performance quickly in order to achieve a successful rollout of Obamacare within the designated time window. Many observers have noted that eligible people will need to enroll in coverage on the site by November, or this could get ugly. On Jan. 1, 2014, when coverage through the HIXs becomes effective, we should know if the estimated national enrollment in the HIX of 7 million and the expanded Medicaid coverage projection of 8.7 million for 2014 are accurate.More

Straight talk from the PACSman: Lessons learned
Aunt Minnie (registration required)
There is a saying: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." And so it goes with most information systems, including PACS. There is a big push to get everyone off Windows XP before support from Microsoft ends in April 2014. Does the product die? No.More

Costliest 1 percent of patients account for 21 percent of US health spending
Kaiser Health News
The costliest 1 percent consumed 21 percent of the nearly $1.3 trillion Americans spent on healthcare in 2010, at a cost of nearly $88,000 per person. Five percent of patients accounted for 50 percent of all healthcare expenditures. More

How the government shutdown affects medical imaging
Imaging Biz
It is hard to measure the indirect impact on medical imaging from the overall negative economic consequences of a government shutdown. However, the direct impact on practical day-to-day business operations should be fairly small judging by the contingency plans of various government agencies.More

ICD-9 vs. ICD-10: What's the difference?
By Brooke Andrus
If you're a proponent of the old "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality, you might be a little reluctant to buy into all of this ICD-10 business. After all, you use ICD-9 now, and that seems to be working just fine. So why rock the boat? Well, there's another old saying that goes something like, "You don't know what you're missing until you reach out and touch it." In this case, those still clinging to ICD-9 are completely overlooking the benefits of the new code set — things like improved interoperability, data-sharing, outcomes, and ultimately improved healthcare.More

The Physician Payment Sunshine Act: What diagnostic radiologists need to know
Diagnostic Imaging (registration required)
If a patient asks why you received $50,000 in travel or research expenses from a medical device manufacturer, are you prepared to respond? Do you know that the fees for the industry talk you gave might be available for public viewing next year? And that dinner you attended to learn the latest imaging advances may be reported as a $200 value to CMS, shown on a searchable Internet database?More

Achieving competitive scale in radiology while maintaining independence
Imaging Biz
As consolidation in the hospital market continues apace — driven by the increasing prevalence of integrated delivery networks, accountable-care organizations, and other new payment/delivery models — many radiology groups find themselves at a crossroads. How can they gain the scale necessary to meet the mounting demands of today's care continuum, given the continued downward pressure on reimbursement? More

Barriers to care, EHRs feed into docs' job dissatisfaction
Cardiovascular Business
Perceptions of providing quality care to patients and frustrations with EHRs play a large role in physicians' professional satisfaction, a report from RAND Corp. concluded. The American Medical Association sponsored a study by RAND designed to identify and characterize factors that contribute to physicians' sense of job satisfaction.More

How to avoid another market downturn: 3 ways to handle investment risk
By David B. Mandell, JD, MBA, and Jason M. O'Dell, MS, CWM
The Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ have all regained or surpassed the values they held before the 2008 stock market crash. While this climb has taken nearly five years, most investors, including radiology business managers, have not forgotten how disconcerting the crash was at the time. Moreover, many market prognosticators are predicting another market pull-back, with some commentators seeing a decline as much as 20-30 percent. Given the potential for another crash, here are three ways to potentially mitigate stock market risk.More