Whitney Palmer

Healthcare. Politics. Family.

8 Reasons Why Radiology’s Future Is Bright

Published on the Dec. 2, 2015, DiagnosticImaging.com website

By Whitney L.J. Howell

Recent years have seen many discussions about the challenges facing radiology and its up-and-coming practitioners. Fears about compensation, commoditization, and loss of prestige have had many in the industry wringing their hands about the specialty’s future. But, that future is actually quite bright.

According to Jonathan Berlin, MD, MBA, FACR, radiology professor at NorthShore University HealthSystem, at RSNA 2015, each issue causing concern throughout the industry has a silver lining that should prompt current and future radiologists to be optimistic about where the specialty is headed.

1. Compensation: It’s true, Berlin said, that radiology reimbursement has been declining in recent years, largely due to bundled payments and the multiple procedure payment reduction (MPPR). And, the drop threatens radiologists’ salaries. When compared to other specialties and professions, though, radiologists don’t have much to worry about.

In 2012, radiologists earned, on average, $315,000, he said, compared to the national average of $71,000 annually for a family of four. In fact, radiology salaries ranked evenly with orthopedists and above cardiologists and plastic surgeons.

“Even if radiology incomes drop, radiologists will still be significantly above comparative careers that require professional degrees,” he said.

2. Increased Workload: Nearly any mid-career radiologist will attest that today’s workloads are heavier. There are more films to read and fewer people on each shift to read them. But, residents and fellows should take heart that the work is interesting and important, he said, and it offers a great deal of diversity. For example, they will have the opportunity to engage in clinical, research, teaching, consulting, quality supervision, administrative, and entrepreneurial work throughout their careers.

And, it will be possible that they could make a significant impact on someone’s life.

“Who doesn’t enjoy it when they flash on a case?” he said. “One to two times in your career you might get a letter or phone call from someone thinking you for saving his or her life.”

To read the remainder of the story at its original location: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/rsna-2015/8-reasons-why-radiologys-future-bright

December 3, 2015 Posted by | Healthcare | , , , , , | Leave a comment

New CT Abdomen/Pelvis CPT Code Changes Cut Reimbursement

Published in the April 26, 2011, DiagnosticImaging.com

By Whitney L.J. Howell

As of Jan. 1, 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) changed the way you code for abdomen and pelvis CT scans performed together. The new combined-code requirement slices reimbursement for these services in half.

Each time you run these scans together, for the same reason and on the same service date, you lose between $200-400 in reimbursement, depending upon whether the test requires a contrast agent. That’s a 50 percent payment reduction each time you scan for tumors, cancer or other such problems.

Although the original codes for abdomen and pelvis CT scans conducted separately still exist, CMS now mandates that services performed together at least 75 percent of the time must use one CPT code. Assigning one code in these instances is the agency’s way of eliminating what it considers double payments for similar scans conducted at the same time.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) has opposed the move for the past five years, citing concerns over lost reimbursement, potential confusion over using new codes correctly, and frustration that consideration wasn’t given to the physician time needed to read scans.

To read the remainder of the article online: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/practice-management/content/article/113619/1850806

April 28, 2011 Posted by | Healthcare | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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