Nov. 1, 2011

Question of the week
In 2012, do you plan to give your non-physician staff merit or cost-of-living pay raises or increase the entry level pay rate?
Click here to take the poll.

Click here to see the results from the last Hot Topics poll:
For which modalities do your payors require precertification for outpatient non-emergent imaging?

Click here for the Radiology Hot Topics archives.More

Register for the RBMA Coding Academy courses
The RBMA Coding Academy includes curriculum for radiology coders, business managers involved in coding, specialized radiology coders and individuals who will be sitting for the Radiology Certified Coder exam.

This program will bring together the experts in the field who will teach and relay the most current information and knowledge needed to code accurately and successfully!

Registration is now open for the only two live courses offered this year! Register today for:
Radiology Coding Mechanics Course
Jan. 25
Radiology Coding Exam Review Course
Jan. 26
Both courses will be held at:

Hilton Garden Inn DFW Airport South
2001 Valley View Lane
Irving, TX 75061

RBMA has reserved a limited number of hotel rooms at a discounted rate of $129 per night, single/double occupancy, until Jan. 3 (based on availability). Please call the hotel directly to make your reservation.

Click here for details on the Radiology Coding Mechanics Course.

Click here for details on the Radiology Coding Exam Review Course.

The RBMA Coding Academy is sponsored by More

Call for 2012-2013 Board of Directors candidates: Deadline extended to Nov. 7
The deadline for nominations has been extended one week. This is your last chance to self-nominate or nominate a candidate for a leadership position within RBMA. RBMA seeks individuals who are interested in participating in the leadership of the association and who are willing to help define RBMA's future.

For many, volunteering for RBMA is a way to give back to an organization that was instrumental in building one's career and achieving personal growth. Make it personal! Give back and be an integral part of a team that depends on member volunteers to guide and propel the organization. Volunteers are the pulse of the association, providing time and talent that is mutually beneficial.

Specific requirements for Board candidates include:

If you know of someone with leadership skills and an organizational vision for RBMA, please consider nominating that person. The nomination form can be found online here. Nominations must be received by Nov. 7.

Please take this opportunity to make a difference in the RBMA and in your own career development by becoming a candidate for the RBMA Board of Directors.More

Nomination deadline for Best Practices in Radiology Quality and Economics Awards is Nov. 15
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

Hospital professional services contract provision available for RBMA members
A sample meaningful use provision for a hospital/radiology group professional services agreement, prepared for RBMA members by Tom Greeson, JD, and Cynthia Alcantara, JD, of Reed Smith LLP, is available on the RBMA website.

The provision could be used by hospital-based radiology groups to modify their hospital professional services agreement as a way for their hospital-based radiologists to qualify for and participate in the EHR Incentive Program.

Click here for details.More

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

Massachusetts radiology group turns to McKesson for revenue management
Newton-Wellesley Radiology Associates is the latest radiology group in Massachusetts using McKesson's market-leading Revenue Management Solutions to boost financial performance, increase transparency and prepare for ICD-10. With the industry's most robust radiology billing and compliance solutions, as well as extensive business intelligence capabilities, RMS's technology and services are designed to help radiology practices grow revenue, control costs and stay abreast of regulatory requirements.More

Merge Healthcare announces addition of 11 radiology practices for meaningful use
Merge Healthcare via Business Wire
Merge Healthcare, a leading provider of enterprise imaging and interoperability solutions, announced the addition of 11 radiology practices that have selected Merge RIS v7.0 to achieve meaningful use.More

Republicans seek $2.2 trillion in deficit cuts
Reuters Health via Aunt Minnie (registration required)
Congressional Republicans are calling for $2.2 trillion in deficit reduction, including significant cuts to healthcare programs for the elderly and poor along with tax changes that they argue would boost the economy, congressional aides said. The plan offered by Republicans who serve on a congressional "supercommittee" tasked with slashing deficits calls for cuts to the Medicare and Medicaid health programs for the poor and elderly and other health and welfare programs.More

6 ways to provide better patient experience
Fierce Healthcare
Patient experience has become a top priority for hospital leaders, especially as the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey scores will be directly tied to 30 percent of Medicare's incentive payments to hospitals and health systems starting in October 2012. More

Tips for successful RIS/PACS demos at RSNA
Imaging Biz
It's that time of year again, and if you are in the market for a RIS/PACS, you are probably researching the products you will want to see demonstrated at RSNA. By now you should have completed the following: Established an internal team responsible for selecting the RIS/PACS; outlined your selection process; defined your system goals and system/vendor requirements in priority order; and, finally, received budget approval. More

Be aggressive to boost imaging referrals
Diagnostic Imaging (registration required)
If you've seen fewer and fewer physicians referring patients to your center for imaging services over the past five years, you're not alone. The decline is a nationwide trend, and many industry consultants believe that to fortify your bottom line, you must go on the offensive. Referrals are falling for all services — MRIs, CTs and X-rays. The reasons are many, but one factor is consistent: money.More

Record increase in state medicaid spending projected
HealthLeaders Media
Continuing economic woes at the state and federal levels, increased Medicaid enrollment and the end of the federal stimulus program will contribute to a projected 29 percent increase in states' spending for the Medicaid program in fiscal year 2012, according to a survey of Medicaid officials in all 50 states, released from the Kaiser Family Foundation's Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. That would be the largest increase in Medicaid history.More

Seniors get a break on Medicare Part B premiums
Kaiser Health News
Part B premiums for Medicare beneficiaries will rise less than originally anticipated next year, the Department of Health and Human Services announced. For most beneficiaries, premiums will be $99.90 a month in 2012, a $3.50 increase over the $96.40 paid this year by a majority of elderly and disabled beneficiaries. More