Published on the Oct. 28, 2011, DiagnosticImaging.com website
By Whitney L.J. Howell
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.
There are three main ways finances impact referrals, according to Deborah MacFarlane, West Coast service manager for Laguna Niguel, Calif.-based Management Services Network. Specialty providers, such as orthopedists, frequently choose to keep imaging – and the reimbursement – in-house by purchasing their own equipment. Radiology benefit management companies, through cost-control efforts, drive down imaging utilization. And, patients forgo imaging services because their insurance co-pay or deductible is too high.
“Imaging centers are now fighting for a much smaller pool of patients,” MacFarlane said. “We’ve gone from growth and educating referring physicians about how to better use imaging services and imaging centers to if you’re going to get more volume, you must take it from another imaging center.”
This is the battle currently facing Genesis Diagnostic Center in Lansing, Mich. Except, according to office manager Matt Barnum, the practice needs to woo back clients siphoned away by area hospitals. Recently, two nearby hospitals enacted contracts with the private practice offices that once sent patients to Genesis for imaging services.
To read the remainder of the article online: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/practice-management/content/article/113619/1979119