Whitney Palmer

Healthcare. Politics. Family.

Radiology’s Role in Integrated Health Care Systems

Published on the Nov. 16, 2016, DiagnosticImaging.com website

By Whitney L. Jackson

For most of you, diving into radiology practice meant joining an academic department, launching a private venture, or signing on with a teleradiology company. Those three practice models consume the lion’s share of all radiologists reading studies today.

However, another model exists – the integrated health care delivery approach most widely touted by Kaiser Permanente. Through this multi-physician, multi-specialty design, Kaiser Permanente offers health care services, including radiology, through networks of medical centers.

It’s a system that places significant weight on preventive care and positive patient outcomes. To meet that goal, said Bruce Wollman, MD, associate medical director for the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, all providers, including radiologists, proactively work together with radiology playing a big role.

“Radiology is the center of the medical universe. In a system, like Kaiser, in which patient care is first and foremost, radiology has a very prominent voice,” he said. “But, Kaiser is a big group. We’re not just a big radiology practice, but thousands of doctors of all specialties all working together on the same team.”

And, just as the system design is a little different, so are the reimbursement and referral models.

In private, academic, and teleradiology practice, the overarching reimbursement model is still fee-for-service in which you are paid for the number of studies you read. Kaiser’s integrated health delivery model is different, Wollman said. Instead of being paid per scan, Kaiser physicians are salaried. Just like surgeons aren’t paid for the number of operations they perform, and radiologists’ salaries are not based purely on the number of studies they interpret.

The outcome, he said, is optimized patient care.

“There’s no financial incentive for us to recommend additional imaging or surgeries or other things,” he said. “The financial incentive of the organization is to keep our patients healthy, so there’s no need for us to do things just for the sake of additional billing.”

To read the remainder of the article at its original location: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/practice-management/radiologys-role-integrated-health-care-systems


November 17, 2016 Posted by | Healthcare | , , | Leave a comment


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