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.
Healthcare’s shift from fee-for-service to value-based care is redefining the role of radiology within the care spectrum. While that can be a scary proposition at the outset, it actually presents opportunities for radiology to break out of its silo, contend the authors of an article in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
The article, “Advanced Practice Quality Improvement Project: How to Influence Physician Radiologic Imaging Ordering Behavior,” notes that although radiologists may have lost their traditional position as imaging gatekeepers, that freedom can lead to greater collaboration with providers and an important role on the care team.
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.
Healthcare Chief Information Officers (CIOs) have a lot on their plates, from overseeing data security to developing technical strategies that support optimal patient care. As they assess areas for improvement, they should consider taking time to explore opportunities within radiology. Diagnostic medical imaging advances can benefit the rest of the healthcare organization, helping to improve efficiency and save money. Here are five things that CIOs can do to help improve their diagnostic imaging departments.
1. Integrate images with EHR data.
Studies have shown that EHRs are improving patient care, saving lives and promoting efficiency. CIOs have an opportunity to optimize the investment their healthcare organizations have made in their EHRs by integrating them with diagnostic medical imaging.
Many healthcare organizations are focusing on population health management strategies as they prepare to transition to value-based care models. It is predicted that within 10 years, half of all healthcare payments will be value-based. Population health management tactics are crucial as organizations focus on improving the health of certain patient groups, since 5 percent of the population accounts for half of healthcare spending.
Every medical department will be analyzed for the ways it can support population health management, including radiology departments. Diagnostic imaging solutions are crucial tools, collecting data for insight into trends, alerting physicians to significant findings and facilitating communication between physicians.