Do Radiologists Fit in America’s Future Health Care System?

The following post was contributed by Geraldine McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR.

These aren’t fighting words—let’s call this a temperature check. Have you asked yourself lately: How do radiologists (replace radiologists with I) fit in America’s future health care system?

Bioethicist and Affordcredit the photographerable Care Act (ACA) architect Ezekiel J. (Zeke) Emanuel, MD, PhD, will address this question in his keynote address at ACR 2016 — The Crossroads of Radiology®. Having heard him speak on this topic before, I expect that he will live up to his reputation as an “opinionator” in addressing “The Future of American Health Care: What Is the Role of Radiology?” Emanuel will provide advice for radiologists on how to adapt to the new health care environment, including responding to economics and costs as driving forces for change, and focusing on patients with chronic conditions.

He served as a special adviser for health policy to the White House Office of Management and Budget and has written a definitive account of the ACA. Trained both as an oncologist and a political scientist, his is a school of thought that redefines a physician’s duty, proposing that it includes working for the greater good of society instead of focusing only on a patient’s needs.

What will our health care system look like 5 and 10 years from now? How do radiologists evolve for the coming health care system change? Who should get medical care?

These are the types of questions that prompt dialogue, which in turn changes mindsets and routines. This is why you come to The Crossroads of Radiology®.

I would be interested to know:

What question(s) would you want to ask Emanuel about the ACA and/or our role in the future of American medicine?

What insights might you provide to him that could perhaps change his views on where radiology (and radiologists) fit into his ideal health care system?   

Create a High-quality, Cost-effective Lung Screening Process

This post was contributed by Ella Kazerooni, MD, FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Lung Cancer Screening Committee and ACR Thoracic Imaging Panel.

Ella KazerooniIt’s been nine months since Medicare’s decision to cover low-dose computed tomography (CT) lung cancer screening, giving seniors at high-risk for the disease access to care that can save more lives than any cancer screening test in history.

November’s Lung Cancer Awareness Month typically provides the opportunity to raise awareness and increase attention to this disease. For providers, it should be a time to gain or sharpen our tools needed to provide safe, effective lung cancer screening with the latest research, toolkits and key patient information.

High-quality, cost-effective screening requires standardized processes, including appropriate identification of individuals for screening, the CT screening technique itself, reporting of the CT results, and the management of positive results, including incidental significant findings and the inclusion of smoking cessation as part of any lung cancer screening program. What necessary steps are you taking to create a quality, sustainable, effective CT lung cancer screening process — paying particular attention to patient safety?

 Critical information is available on the ACR Lung Cancer Screening Resources webpage. Providers can meet Medicare quality reporting requirements to receive payment for lung cancer screening exams by submitting data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)-approved American College of Radiology (ACR) Lung Cancer Screening Registry™.

A comprehensive, interactive online education program trains you on how to implement a safe and effective lung cancer screening program, allowing you to earn credits toward Lung Cancer Screening Center physician continuing medical education (CME) needs. Several related sessions will be offered at ACR 2016™, the all-member ACR annual meeting, May 15–19 in Washington, DC. These include advancing the practice of lung cancer screening and developing an effective lung cancer screening team.

Some other educational opportunities are listed below:

We’re in a new era for lung cancer detection, seeing the transition from the efficacy of lung cancer screening shown in clinical trials to effectiveness in clinical practice. How are you improving your practice?

Contact information is provided for questions about the Lung Cancer Screening  Registry or LungRads or billing/reimbursement.

The Crossroads of Radiology Shows Us the Path Forward

This post is contributed by Cheri Canon, MD, FACR, chair of the ACR 2016 program committee.

Cheri CanonphotoWe are at a crossroads in how we deliver care, how we are reimbursed for services, and how we interact with patients, other providers, and payers. As the health care landscape shifts, we need to find the new solid ground, to learn how to strengthen our practices and become better providers. ACR 2016 — the American College of Radiology all-radiology annual meeting — can help us do that and more.

The Crossroads of Radiology® (as ACR 2016 is known) focuses on advocacy, policy, Imaging 3.0, economics and practice quality improvement — issues that shape radiology’s future. Its flexible program provides sessions on leadership, clinical education, advocacy, economics, informatics and innovation, and quality and safety.

I strongly urge you to take part in Capitol Hill Day. ACR volunteers and staff schedule meetings with our elected officials and help prepare us to bring the “Voice of Radiology” directly to our lawmakers. In advocacy sessions, we’ll examine the nuts and bolts of health payment policy and explore how quality, data and informatics intersect with radiology practice and payment models.

Imaging 3.0™ and Radiology Leadership Institute® (RLI) sessions help us provide more patient- and family-centered care and learn business and leadership skills to succeed in new health care delivery and payment systems.

Health care is changing. We have to stay ahead of the curve. ACR 2016 helps equip us to do that—whether you’re a seasoned expert, a resident or fellow who needs practical tools for career development, or a young/early-career physician, who wants to continue building a successful practice.

With that in mind, what steps are you taking to shape the future of your practice?