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Q & A with Bill Algee, president of AHRA

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | July 09, 2019
From the July 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Advocacy is another concern. We don't have a true lobbying effort, but we have a regulatory affairs committee that is geared toward reviewing how any rules and laws are going to change, and if or how it's going to affect us. The AHRA, over the last few years, has become an industry leader and is being asked to come to the table to give feedback before changes are made.

The other part is that we're all asked to do more with less. You know, I don't know of any leaders that I've spoken to who has said, “Hey, I went to my budget meeting this year and they said you can have as much money as you want!” Instead, what they hear is “do you really need that?” And even with a good answer, they might not be getting it.

One of the things we’re really going to focus on next year is looking at the programs that we have and what we offer. We want to be sure those are the right programs for us to be offering. That’s something Dan has brought to the table, to look at our portfolio and make sure we are hitting on all cylinders that we need to be hitting on. Radiology departments today are often being run by multifunctional directors. They may have radiology and cardiology or radiology and lab or some other combination of skills. So we need to open up our focus a little bit more and try to be more inclusive of some of those other folks, to help them understand where we're coming from and what we're doing.

HCB News: Does the AHRA membership makeup differ from the imaging professionals in the field?
BA: I think it’s growing. We're really trying to get more of those other folks involved, so that's something that we're still reaching out about. I would say the majority of the folks that are attending the meeting are definitely radiology folks. Some of those people are trying to learn about imaging leadership as well from some of those other modalities we were talking about, but primarily it's those who have been managers or directors for a while, or new directors or people new to management. If I can, I like to try to take upcoming leaders, to help them get to the next level. I’m going to retire someday, just like my boss retired a couple of years ago, so I want to leave things in a good place with people to fill that spot.

We want people who are attending for the first time at 25 years old and people that are 65. There’s lots to learn from both groups.

HCB News: So taking a trip way back in time, AHRA originally matched up with the acronym…
BA: It’s funny you bring that up. The AHRA and the Association for Medical Imaging Management can be confusing. We need to make sure we have some alignment. One of the things we are doing, that Dan’s put on the table, is having somebody from an outside marketing firm come in and look at our packaging. I don't know if the name is going change, but if it if it does, it will be a challenge. We will need to answer “does the name AHRA tell the work we’re really doing?” I think it’s a discussion for a bigger group of people than me.

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