DOTmed Home MRI Oncology Ultrasound Molecular Imaging X-Ray Cardiology Health IT Business Affairs
News Home Parts & Service Operating Room CT Women's Health Proton Therapy Endoscopy HTMs Mobile Imaging
SEARCH
Current Location:
>
> This Story


Log in or Register to rate this News Story
Forward Printable StoryPrint Comment

 

Business Affairs Homepage

Shanghai Pharma to acquire Cardinal Health China business for $1.2 billion Deal includes pharma and medical products distribution business

ACR chair urges congress to fund low-dose radiation research Last BEIR report on effects of low-dose exposure issued over 10 years ago

GE to whittle down, focus more on health care CEO Flannery also plans to prioritize aviation and power businesses

First Lady of Mozambique visits KPI Healthcare headquarters Finalizing medical equipment contract to reduce mortality in African nation

Konica Minolta signs group purchasing agreement with Premier for the Exa platform The three-year deal brings special pricing to 3,900 hospitals

Siemens Healthineers IPO: New details from CEO, Joe Kaeser Internal preparations expected to conclude by March

Mike Kaufmann Cardinal Health names new CEO

Why employers with dispersed workforces should care about physician quality Lower quality treatment yields higher systemwide expenses

Imaging departments stay afloat during hurricanes Advice from the front lines of Harvey and Irma

Stryker partners with Philips to offer new and reprocessed ECG leads for one low price May divert millions of pounds of waste from landfills per year

Patient face-time is radiology's big goal, but it doesn't pay as well

by John W. Mitchell , Senior Correspondent
In findings the lead author termed "surprising," a study has found that Medicare payments to radiologists have dropped with the rollout of reduced professional (physician) component payments, in part, due to the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act (DRA).

The research — just published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology — also determined that noninvasive diagnostic imaging (NDI) Medicare payments to all specialists, as well as radiologists, peaked in 2006.

Story Continues Below Advertisement

RaySafe helps you avoid unnecessary radiation

RaySafe solutions are designed to minimize the need for user interaction, bringing unprecedented simplicity & usability to the X-ray room. We're committed to establishing a radiation safety culture wherever technicians & medical staff encounter radiation.



"Our research team has been studying utilization and payment trends in imaging for years," Dr. David Levin, lead author and emeritus professor of radiology at Thomas Jefferson University, told HCB News. "We were surprised to find that cuts were as deep as they proved to be."

For the study, Levine and his team used Part B Medicare databases from 2002 to 2015 to measure NDI payments. They found that total physician specialist NDI income peaked at $11.9 billion in 2006. Since 2006, the DRA and other fee cuts reduced payments 33 percent to $8 billion by 2015. For radiologists, payments peaked at $5.3 billion in 2006 and dropped 19.5 percent by 2015.

According to Levin, radiologists have been somewhat insulated from recent cost-cutting measures. Earlier NDI cuts were aimed at the technical component of service or the hospital side of imaging. As about 80 percent of imaging is performed in hospitals, he said, health systems had borne the brunt of such reductions in reimbursement.

Such was not the case with other specialists. Cardiologists, for example, perform most of their imaging in their offices and outpatient care payments have been hit harder.

"Any time reimbursements drop, it puts pressure on a practice. Radiologists need to focus on making their practices run as efficiently as possible so they can increase their volume to make up for per-unit reimbursement cuts," said Levin.

But this comes at a cost, he added. Radiologists are under pressure to spend more time talking to patients to improve patient satisfaction scores. They are also expected to be more available to consult with referring doctors, which increases referrals.

Since other surveys indicate radiology incomes have increased despite the Medicare payment cuts, they may have "competing priorities."

"So that suggests that they are focusing more on increasing volumes, rather than on interacting with patients and referring doctors," said Levin. "That may be good for their pocketbooks, but probably isn't good for the specialty in the long run."

Levin explained that "just about every leader" of The American College of Radiology has urged radiologists to take more time to engage in noninterpretive studies. This, he said, is part of a strategy to prevent radiology from becoming viewed as a commodity and theoretically less valued by hospitals and payers.

But is this trade-off actually taking place on the front lines? "This does not appear to be happening," Levin said.

Business Affairs Homepage


You Must Be Logged In To Post A Comment

Advertise
Increase Your
Brand Awareness
Auctions + Private Sales
Get The
Best Price
Buy Equipment/Parts
Find The
Lowest Price
Daily News
Read The
Latest News
Directory
Browse All
DOTmed Users
Ethics on DOTmed
View Our
Ethics Program
Gold Parts Vendor Program
Receive PH
Requests
Gold Service Dealer Program
Receive RFP/PS
Requests
Healthcare Providers
See all
HCP Tools
Jobs/Training
Find/Fill
A Job
Parts Hunter +EasyPay
Get Parts
Quotes
Recently Certified
View Recently
Certified Users
Recently Rated
View Recently
Certified Users
Rental Central
Rent Equipment
For Less
Sell Equipment/Parts
Get The
Most Money
Service Technicians Forum
Find Help
And Advice
Simple RFP
Get Equipment
Quotes
Virtual Trade Show
Find Service
For Equipment
Access and use of this site is subject to the terms and conditions of our LEGAL NOTICE & PRIVACY NOTICE
Property of and Proprietary to DOTmed.com, Inc. Copyright ©2001-2017 DOTmed.com, Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED