Improving World Radiology Care

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Howard B. Fleishon, MD

This post is contributed by Howard B. Fleishon, MD, MMM, FACR, chair of the ACR Foundation Executive Committee

The American College of Radiology (ACR) is not only the Voice of Radiology on Capitol Hill, in state houses nationwide and with private insurance carriers. The College is expanding its international impact, helping to improve global health care by providing educational resources and support to radiologists in many corners of the world.

For example,  the ACR Education Center will hold a series of imaging “boot camps” and workshops across the Middle East – starting in May in Saudi Arabia .


Just this week a contingent of 15 full-time faculty radiologists from the ChineseAssociation of Radiology arrived to take the radiologic pathology course at the American Institute of Radiologic Pathology (AIRP). This is the first such large international delegation to enroll in the four-week course.  They will also attend ACR 2016 — The Crossroads of Radiology®.

Through its International Outreach Program, the ACR Foundation is also helping to rebuild Mercy Hospital in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, following the devastating earthquake that leveled much of that country in years passed.

And the ACR Foundation continues to recognize individuals and organizations making a difference in the developing world through its Global Humanitarian Awards. This year’s recipients will be announced during ACR 2016 — The Crossroads of Radiology®.

Rest assured, your voice is advocating for patients you may never meet in places you may ACRIVSmap166never go.

However, if you would like to get directly involved, I urge you to check out the International Outreach Program and see how you might make an impact on global radiology care.

Do you know radiologists (or groups) who are improving access to quality radiological services in low-income to middle-income countries? Please share in the comments section below.

How Will I Succeed in Practice?

The following post was contributed by Jennifer E. Nathan, MD, chair of the Young and Early Career Physician Section (ACR-YPS) Executive Committee.

Jennifer Nathan_YPS_490_web We are experiencing an era of evolving medical practice. Many young and early-career radiologists starting practice soon discover there are gaps in their education as to the business side of practice.

It’s vital that newly minted radiologists keep up with practice and health care delivery changes through the American College of Radiology (ACR) Young and Early Career Physician Section (YPS) and other channels. Networking at ACR 2016—The Crossroads of Radiology® and state radiology meetings provides another opportunity to see how what you’re reading about is being put into practice.

The ACR currently represents more than 6,600 members who are either under the age of 40 or within eight years of completion of training. The College helps develop and carry out policy that will allow us to accomplish our highest goal: to provide the best care for your patients (over the long haul). Early-career physicians need to be especially active, given that we will practice medicine in the coming years and changes in the health care delivery system will affect us greatly.

The ACR helps us enhance our practice of medicine, facilitates our participation in policy development and other College activities, foster development of our leadership skills and amplify our #VoiceOfRadiology.

Numerous resources are available to assist us in building our brand and practice and becoming an influencer in the field, including:

I invite you to get involved in the ACR and voice your opinions on current issues that face the College and radiology. How will we succeed in our practice? With help from ACR.

What tips can you share to ensure a successful radiology practice?



A (Non) Solution in Search of a Problem

The following post was contributed by James A. Brink, MD, FACR, vice chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors.

You may or may not know that the Hawaii Radiological Society, a chapter of the ACR, is working with the Hawaii Medical Association to battle the state’s largest insurer over its advanced imaging preauthorBrink Headshot JPGization mandate.

The two groups say there is no need for preauthorization. The groups also support Hawaii state House Bill 2740, which would, among other things, put the onus on insurers to ensure that care is not delayed by preauthorization.

The College is backing this effort to roll back preauthorization mandates — particularly as imaging use is down considerably nationwide and HHS says there is no independent evidence of preauthorization effectiveness. I recently submitted a letter briefly explaining the ACR position on preauthorization to HIStalk, a website dedicated to health care IT.

Recently, ACR Chief Executive Officer William T. Thorwarth Jr., MD, FACR, affirmed the College’s support of ACR Appropriateness Criteria® through computerized decision support (CDS) tools as a superior to prior authorization.

CDS easily fulfills the requirements of the impending Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services mandate that will require physicians to consult government- approved, evidence-based appropriate-use criteria when ordering advanced diagnostic imaging exams (CT, MRI, nuclear medicine and PET) for Medicare patients.

I invite you to use the comments section below to share your observations on preauthorization in your area and how you are handling it.