Enhancing Value in Medical Imaging: SIIM Annual Meeting Takeaways from Scott Galbari


SIIM 2017Radiologists are challenged to prove the value of their work in order to thrive in a value-based care model. The problem is, the word “value” means different things to different stakeholders. A patient’s priorities — what they deem valuable — are different from how a technician or clinician would define the term.

This year’s SIIM Annual Meeting featured discussion on how radiologists can not only increase the value they bring, but work to make sure they can express that value in terms other stakeholders can easily recognize.

In this brief Q&A, Change Healthcare Senior Vice President of Care Operations Scott Galbari presents some of the highlights of the discussion, along with his take on these challenging questions.

SIIM Annual Meeting Takeaways and Highlights

How do patients perceive value in medical imaging?

There are many interpretations of value, meaning different things to different people in medical imaging. For referring clinicians, value is in the diagnostic quality and efficiency of the radiology imaging services they receive. Technologists define value through the quality of the medical images acquired in diagnostic procedures. Patients perceive value in the cost of the imaging procedure, accessibility, how quickly results are received, accuracy of the results and their ability to discuss outcomes with their referring physician.

How do radiologists perceive value in medical imaging?

Traditionally the radiologist’s role has been to capture diagnostic images, read the images correctly and share that information with physicians who use the information to make the appropriate treatment decisions for their patients. However, the role of the radiologist in the value-based reimbursement era has changed, with a focus on the value to the patient. In this era, many Radiologists perceive value as a contribution to patient care through the timely and accurate interpretation of images.  Value-based reimbursement plans are making it more important to improve care coordination that includes radiologists and radiology departments to drive better drive clinical and financial outcomes and patient value.

What can radiologists do to enhance the value they provide?

Radiologists can offer added value by assisting with ordering imaging procedures, providing education on imaging procedures, communicating results and consulting on findings. That means working with the care team up front to decide what diagnostic images need to be captured and interpreted. It means capturing the images, reading them correctly and sharing the information with the care team. It means discussing with the care team other clinical findings that were detected during an imaging procedure. And it means working with the care team to analyze and interpret all the findings to help determine the best treatment options for the patient and whether additional imaging procedures are needed.

For radiologists, value-based care brings a dual challenge: Finding ways to add more value, and making sure they can prove the value they already bring. As Scott shows, one key way to do both is to be an informed consultant, working with the care team throughout the care process, both before and after image capture. Value-based care requires greater communication across the health system. Radiologists are uniquely equipped to lead by example in that regard.

Explore our resource hub to learn more about optimizing the value of medical imaging or contact us to find out how Change Healthcare can help you thrive in the evolving healthcare industry

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