Published on the Aug. 11, 2011, DiagnosticImaging.com Web site
By Whitney L.J. Howell
The health care system as you’ve known it will look drastically different within the next few years, and the radiology industry is set to change with it. If you want to stay afloat and have a competitive practice, you must know which parts of the health reform legislation will affect you and how to handle them.
That’s the message from Robert Still, MD, practice manager for Lancaster Radiology Associates Ltd. in Auburn, Pa. Speaking at the AHRA: The Association for Medical Imaging Management annual meeting in Dallas next week, Still says accountability will be the most important thing to remember as health reform legislation comes online.
“The ways we measure quality in health care and radiology will change. The focus will be higher quality at lower cost,” he said. “As accountable care organizations are introduced, all payments will be bundled and reimbursements will be value based.”
This bundling means you will no longer be reimbursed separately for your services. Instead, your payments will be part of a larger one that includes facility, technical, and physician charges. It could also mean you start assuming a more consultative role in patient care, offering input and making recommendations about which imaging studies are most appropriate, Still said.
This change has industry leaders concerned. They fear policymakers are following MedPAC’s lead in considering bundles or cuts to all the payment codes you use.
“There will be a huge impact in reimbursement if every code is up for grabs,” said Maurine Dennis, senior director of economics and health policy at the American College of Radiology. “Diagnostic radiology is behind the 8-ball and is feeling the biggest impact from reform.”
To read the entire story: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/healthcare_reform/content/article/113619/1926311?CID=rss&cid=dlvr.it