As of today, the CMS is still planning on moving to ICD-10 codes on October 1, 2015. Will you, in the imaging world, be ready? While physicians and clinical staff will not be necessarily responsible for correct coding, the documentation that they do will greatly affect the way diagnoses and procedures are coded, and as a result, the way facilities and practitioners are reimbursed. It “pays” to take a few minutes to be sure that the documentation that you produce is clear, complete and detailed.
The cost of unnecessary imaging in the United States, examinations that waste resources and expose patients to unnecessary risks, has been estimated at more than $12 billion annually.
Value-based care strategies and the use of evidence-based medicine both emphasize the judicious use of imaging, but patients should be active participants in any discussion. Engaging patients can be difficult because most do not fully understand the uses of and differences among imaging modalities.
This is an update to my earlier post discussing how the early detection of lung cancer via low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) has been shown to be effective enough in certain populations to warrant a screening program, but that coverage of such a program under Medicare was the subject of some debate.
CMS (Preliminary) Decision
The big news, of course, is that in mid-November CMS made a proposed Decision Memo indicating that Medicare would, indeed, cover lung cancer screening.
The final ruling from CMS is expected in February 2015 and could include some further refinements to the program currently outlined (more on that below).
Each year, about 45 percent of Americans set goals, make resolutions and strive to start the year off on a positive note. In enterprise medical imaging we too are looking at the year ahead and discussing predictions about medical imaging trends. Here are 5 predictions for 2015.
1. Data analytics will increase in importance and usage.
As the healthcare arena changes, medical imaging no longer stays within one department, but needs to be accessible wherever and whenever it’s needed to help improve patient care within the greater organization. That’s one takeaway from Cindy S. Hardin, executive director of infrastructure product management at McKesson Health IT. In this interview, she talks about how the consumers of enterprise medical imaging are no longer within just radiology or cardiology but throughout the greater health enterprise.
Some of her key points include:
- Medical imaging needs to be able to be read in a number of different ways.
Below you will find highlights of five of those presentations.
Freddie Adorno, administrator of Enterprise Imaging Informatics for Nyack Hospital, a 375-bed facility 20 miles north of New York City. Adorno spoke about his hospital’s experience with McKesson Enterprise Image™ Clinical Reference Viewer (CRV). He said the CRV’s public URL streamlined access for everyone, especially those making the referral. This eliminated the frustration of multiple logins that that were required for Virtual Private Network and Terminal Services methods.
With more than 55,000 attendees, 4,000 courses and countless conversations, RSNA 2014 is officially a wrap. From scientific studies to best practices, a plethora of medical imaging topics of value were discussed. Although it’s difficult to choose, here are 3 RSNA highlights that I found particularly interesting, including discussions about improving quality in a changing healthcare landscape, readying for ICD-10 and fostering teamwork to help improve patient care.
1. Improving Quality via Communication
As the healthcare landscape changes, achieving quality and meaning in radiology is increasingly important, according to one session at RSNA 2014. Radiologists’ ability to cooperate and interact with their team is growing in importance as well.
At RSNA’s 100th annual meeting, representatives of more than 600 companies spread out over a half million square feet of space, demonstrating products both cutting edge and tried and true.
Radiology has never stopped advancing and improving throughout RSNA’s long history: each year new technology is unveiled by companies old and new. One company with a long history in healthcare technology is McKesson. McKesson highlighted solutions for RSNA attendees that help break down information silos between radiology or cardiology solutions and reduce complexities that are introduced through consolidation.
Patients who live in rural areas face significant health disparities when compared to the general population. From higher rates of disease to lower life expectancies, higher rates of pain and suffering to fewer physicians, rural healthcare has a number of considerable challenges. Solutions that help improve the delivery of care in rural areas are highlighted in the following medical imaging case studies. These real-world examples depict how technology can help reduce report turnaround, provide high-tech services in rural areas and support improvements to patient care.
Case Study #1 | Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Omaha
For professional backup, aviators have autopilot, writers have spellcheck. Some physicians receive alerts if an action has been overlooked or an important finding must be communicated quickly, such as a radiologist’s alert to contact the ED about a patient’s blood clot. These notifications can be very valuable, but too many can backfire and cause alert fatigue. Here are three reasons radiology management should seek balance when it comes to automated alerts.
1. Alerts Can Help Speed Up Radiologist Communication.