Oct. 25, 2011

See what happened at the Fall Educational Conference on Facebook
If you missed the highest-attended RBMA Fall Educational Conference in Las Vegas or want to recap the events of last week, visit the RBMA Facebook page for a photo overview of the conference.

If you are interested in purchasing the handouts and audio MP3 files, please place your order here. Audio files will be available in approximately two weeks. Conference attendees will be sent the link to download their complimentary files.More

Announcing 2011 Best Practices in Radiology Quality and Economics Awards
Presented by Health Imaging, AHRA and RBMA

Sponsored by

Get recognized for the impact you've made in 2011!

The Best Practices in Radiology Quality and Economics Awards honor the best radiology practices, groups or departments for their work in using imaging in a meaningful way to improve quality of care and patient outcomes, increase efficiency across the department or facility, reduce costs and drive lasting economic benefits.

An expert panel of radiology administrators and business managers from AHRA and RBMA and editors from Health Imaging will choose up to five winners, who will receive a cash award of $1,000 and be featured in an upcoming issue of Health Imaging. Winners will be honored at a joint AHRA-RBMA event at the RSNA annual meeting in November in Chicago. The deadline for nominations is Nov. 15.

Click here for details.More

Support RBMA at the Associated Sciences Program at RSNA 2011
The Associated Sciences Consortium is an RSNA working group representing 13 professional societies, including RBMA, in radiologic sciences, technology and administration. Each year, the Consortium sponsors a symposium of refresher courses to take place during RSNA.

This year RBMA will co-sponsor two 90-minute courses, which will discuss radiology and imaging for our aging population as the first year of baby boomers becomes eligible for Medicare, how healthcare has and will continue to change due to different patient expectations and the possible shortage of doctors who accept Medicare patients.

The kick-off course and first RBMA co-sponsored session will take place on Monday, Nov. 28, from 8:30-10 a.m., with Implications of the Changing Face of Health Care: Aging and the Shift of Population, with speakers David R. Gruen and Robert M. Kulis and moderator Claudia A. Murray.

The second session will be held Tuesday, Nov. 29, from 1:30-3 p.m., when Shay Pratt and Patricia Kroken, FACMPE, CRA, FRBMA, present Impacts of Emerging Practice Models. Donna Blakely, MS, RT(R)(M), CRA will be moderating. Click here for a complete list of Associated Sciences courses. Please come support RBMA by attending these informative sessions.

While you are at RSNA, be sure and stop by the RBMA booth in the North Building, Hall B, Booth #7704.More

Register for the 2012 Radiology Coding Update
Every year brings significant changes to coding for radiology procedures. Not knowing what the changes are or what they mean could cost your facility dearly, both in terms of lost revenue and penalties for noncompliance. Don't take any chances! Be prepared! Register to attend a preview of radiology coding in 2012, presented by Jeff Majchrzak, BA, RT(R), CNMT, RCC, CIRCC, one of the country's most knowledgeable and sought-after radiology coding experts, and hosted by MedLearn.

RBMA members will receive a $36 discount off of the $225 price for this webcast. Click here for details.More

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

Merge Healthcare sets third quarter 2011 earnings call
Merge Healthcare via Business Wire
Merge Healthcare, a leading provider of enterprise imaging and interoperability solutions, announced the scheduling of its third quarter 2011 earnings call, which will be held at 8:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Nov. 2.More

AJR: Radiology to see fewer independent practices, more commoditization
Health Imaging
Over the next decade, new radiologists will be starting on career paths that look quite different from the paths of today's radiologists, and they will potentially face a future that trends toward increased commoditization of radiology services, according to a Web exclusive article published in the American Journal of Roentgenology.More

ACOs seen as tough sell, despite concessions
Health Leaders Media
Even with approving nods for the changes announced in the final rules for Medicare accountable care organizations, observers who spoke with HealthLeaders Media say the program will remain a tough sell for most healthcare providers. Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued the long-awaited final rule for ACOs under the Medicare Shared Savings Program.More

What health reform means for radiologists
Diagnostic Imaging (registration required)
The healthcare system as you've known it will look drastically different within the next few years, and the radiology industry is set to change with it. If you want to stay afloat and have a competitive practice, you must know which parts of the health reform legislation will affect you and how to handle them.More

Tools to capture every billable dollar
Imaging Economics
Although radiology practices contend with legislative changes, declining reimbursement rates and much more, possibly the biggest hindrance to their success is radiology benefit management companies. More

Value-based purchasing: From theory to practice
Imaging Biz
In the May 2011 issue of Journal of the American College of Radiology: JACR, the ACR Future Trends Committee published a paper focused on helping radiologists manage the transition to value-based purchasing. The paper outlines roles for radiologists that might be helpful in successfully participating in accountable-care organizations. More

AJR: Financial ties lead to higher imaging utilization
Aunt Minnie (registration required)
A new study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology has confirmed that referring physicians who have a financial interest in medical imaging have higher utilization rates — as much as 49 percent more. Furthermore, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, intended in part to curb self-referral, has had little effect.More

The quiet healthcare revolution
The Atlantic
CareMore, a company based in Cerritos, Calif., that operates 26 care centers across the Southwest, uses a unique approach to caring for the elderly that is routinely achieving patient outcomes that other providers can only dream about: a hospitalization rate 24 percent below average, hospital stays 38 percent shorter and an amputation rate among diabetics 60 percent lower than average. More

Nixon's HMOs hold lessons for Obama's ACOs
Kaiser Health News
The Obama administration acknowledges its highly touted accountable care organization program will have a modest early impact on the U.S. health system — with only 4 percent of Medicare beneficiaries affected by 2015. Perhaps the Obama White House is taking a lesson from the last time a U.S. president kicked off a major new program designed to alter the way healthcare is delivered and paid for — President Nixon and the HMO Act of 1973.More