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Feature: Imaging center managers deal with an array of change

by John W. Mitchell, Senior Correspondent | July 09, 2015
From the July 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

This integration strategy – to be the direct provider through a patient’s surgery as well as their pre- and post-op care – extends to partnering with building an 80-bed skilled nursing facility to care for patients after their surgery. “We want to be a vertically integrated network because it’s good for the patient, enhances quality and reduces costs,” he explains. “This is very difficult for imaging competitors to replicate in our market.

We’re now negotiating directly with insurers and accountable care networks. We’re a stable provider in the market who is going to be here no matter what. We have doctors who want to join us and keep the practice private.” Worthan said they are buying out an imaging center in the market, have seen a few others sell to hospitals and others enter into joint ventures with hospitals. He noted that because imaging is not their primary business, they are diversified enough with their revenue streams to absorb diminishing radiology reimbursement. They also have a unique ability to motivate insurance companies when setting rates.

“Imaging is a critical piece of information; our doctors must have it. But if I can’t get what I think is a fair reimbursement rate, we can always drive up costs by directing the business to the hospitals. I know their charges are not going to be less than ours,” Worthan says.

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