Whitney Palmer

Healthcare. Politics. Family.

Thriving in the Era of Teleradiology

Published on DiagnosticImaging.com on Feb. 18, 2011

By Whitney L.J. Howell

When teleradiology on-call services burst onto the scene with the rise of the Internet in the late 1990s, they relieved many radiologists of night and weekend call duties. No doubt, many practices saw them as the answer to shorter-shift prayers.

But, if you mention the same companies today, you’re likely to prompt worry and fear about lost jobs and revenue in even the most established radiology offices.

In recent years — and especially in the past few months — some on-call teleradiology companies, such as the recently merged NightHawk and Virtual Radiologic, have taken what some in the industry consider to be aggressive steps to grow their clientele base, including going after hospitals and health systems that have existing relationships with smaller practices.

For many small groups, that possibility could become a reality. According to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology, more than half of all radiology practices in the United States use on-call services for night and weekend coverage.

“The situation has become predatory,” said Arl Van Moore, MD, chair of the American College of Radiology teleradiology task force and president of North Carolina’s Charlotte Radiology. “There are some companies that are pursuing hospitals that have contracts with other radiology groups to see if they can come in and replace the existing provider.”

Some practices are already feeling the impact. In October 2009, Consulting Radiologists in Toledo, Ohio, lost its long-standing contract with St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center to an out-of-town, on-call company. Others, such as Radiological Associates of Sacramento, are facing a similar fate.

To read the remainder of the article: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/teleradiology/content/article/113619/1795711





February 18, 2011 - Posted by | Healthcare | , , , , , , , ,

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