How to Get C-Suite Buy-in for IR Clinical Practice

The following post was contributed by Philip S. Cook, MD, FACR, FSIR, chair of the ACR Commission on Commission on Interventional & Cardiovascular Imaging.

Cook_Philip_9711R_webAlan H. Matsumoto, MD, FACR, FSIR, FAHA, commission vice chair and past president of the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR), and I posed the above question this week to attendees at the SIR annual meeting in Washington, DC.

During a Compelling Conversation interactive seminar, we talked to a full house of attentive interventional radiologists about how to relay the specialty’s powerful story and show the clinical and economic benefits of starting a full-fledged, in-house interventional radiology (IR) practice.

Through question-and-answer discussion, it was evident, as one participant noted, there’s the need for this three-word mantra: Practice, repetition and data.

Interventional radiologists must show the value of their practice; repeatedly convey that message to hospital administrators, radiology group presidents and other decision makers; and show them the data of improved clinical outcomes, recovery times and patient satisfaction – key factors in new delivery and payment model reimbursement.


Drs. Philip Cook (standing, left) and Alan Matsumoto discussed and answered questions about Getting C-Suite Buy-in for IR Clinical Practice with a full house.

To assist and empower members in this very important endeavor, the American College of Radiology (ACR) and SIR created downloadable resources  — including the IR C-Suite Toolkit — to help explain how IR can assist hospital system executives achieve the triple aim of health care: Enhance the patient experience (including quality and safety), reduce the per capita cost of health care and improve population health. Additionally, supporting published literature to educate ourselves and respective stakeholders has been collated and provided.

Customizable materials available to download include:

To compile and demonstrate the data, interventional radiologists may participate in the IR_convo_4just-launched Interventional Radiology Registry, which will empower you to take steps to improve quality of care and outcomes for patients undergoing image-guided interventional procedures. The new registry will provide comparative benchmark data at the national, regional and practice level to identify areas for improvement within the specialty.

Other resources include:

IR_convo_3Networking and collaboration — as was being done at SIR 2017 — was noted as a useful way to find support and resources. The networking can continue at the upcoming ACR 2017 — The Crossroads of Radiology® in Washington, DC.

The question now shouldn’t be: How do we get C-suite buy-in for IR clinical practice? It should be: When can we get our IR clinical practice started?

What is your advice for getting C-suite buy-in for IR clinical practice?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below and/or join the discussion on Engage (login required).

Medicare CTC Coverage—No Ifs, Ands or Buts

Dr. YEEThe following post was contributed by Judy Yee, MD, FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Colon Cancer Committee.

If you think the American College of Radiology is on a mission when it comes to securing Medicare coverage of CT colonography (CTC) for colorectal screening—it is.

ACR continues to work with major colorectal cancer advocacy groups, minority health care associations and other medical societies, and this week—in unison—we urged Congress to pass the CT Colonography Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act (HR 1298). Studies (U.S. and abroad) show CTC use increases screening rates and lowers costs—we know that early detection saves lives. Unfortunately, Medicare refuses to cover CTC, even though it is an American Cancer Society-recommended exam.colon-4197

Together, we want to move the needle closer to a new reality. Remember, it was just this past June that the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recognized CT colonography among a list of colorectal cancer screening options that received an “A” rating from the government body—after years of promoting this minimally invasive screening option with federal and regulatory representatives. For now, under the Affordable Care Act, this means private insurers are required to cover CTC and the other USPSTF-recognized screening options.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the disease and the need for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure as well as to support those affected by colorectal cancer. As part of this effort, members of the ACR Colon Committee discussed virtual colonoscopy as an option for colorectal cancer screening with multiple broadcast reporters on March 1.

We also need your continued support. This month:

Patient advocates will be using cheeky sayings (“Get your rear in gear” or “Hut, hut, check your butt) to mobilize and bring attention to colorectal cancer screening. When it comes to Medicare coverage for CTC, ACR is not taking any if, ands or buts.

Can you describe your successful CT colonography practice and share any practical pointers?

What do your patients tell you about their screening?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below and/or join the discussion on Engage (login required).