Current Insurer Calculation of Qualified Payment Amount for Out-of-Network (OON) Care May Violate No Surprises Act

In possible violation of the No Surprises Act, health insurance company calculations of Qualified Payment Amounts (QPA) for anesthesiology, emergency medicine and radiology services (and possibly other specialty services) likely include rates from primary care provider (PCP) contracts. A new study conducted by Avalere Health and commissioned by three national physician organizations examined a subpopulation of PCPs and determined that contracting practices may directly impact the QPA.

Precision health perspectives

In February, UCI launched the Institute for Precision Health, a campus-wide, interdisciplinary endeavor that merges UCI’s powerhouse health sciences, engineering, machine learning, artificial intelligence, clinical genomics and data science capabilities. The objective is to identify, create and deliver the most effective health and wellness strategy for each individual person and, in doing so, confront the linked challenges of health equity and the high cost of care.

Wake Forest University School of Medicine Collaborating with Physicians in Ecuador on Virtual Reality Radiology Project

Neuroradiologists at Wake Forest University School of Medicine have begun a pilot study testing the use of virtual reality (VR) systems to remotely read MRIs and other medical images.
“The wonderful thing about this is that it’s a collaborative environment with people who can look at medical images at the same time, regardless of where they are in the world,” Burdette said. “We are able to interpret images in incredible detail while communicating with the referring clinicians who are seeing the same images in real time, which is just not possible in a traditional reading room in the hospital.”

Global contrast media shortage: Strategies for conservation

In wake of the global shortage of iodinated contrast media, researchers modeled several ways to conserve it. They found that a combination of methods could reduce contrast media use for CT scans by approximately 80% if a moderate reduction in diagnostic accuracy could be tolerated. They say changes must be made to minimize supply chain risk in the future.

RSNA’s ‘Radiology’ Journal Nearly Triples Impact Factor

The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) announced today that Radiology, the Society’s flagship peer-reviewed journal, sharply increased its impact factor in 2021, according to the newly released 2022 update to the Clarivate Analytics Journal Citation Reports. Impact factor measures the relevance and influence of academic journals based on citation data.

How MRI and CT predict flap failure after head and neck reconstructive cancer surgery

A new study finds that early postoperative CT scans and MRIs can help predict whether a free flap, used for reconstructive head and neck cancer surgery, will fail. The method carries around a 10-40% risk of wound complications, and researchers say the findings could allow surgeons to intervene earlier if the flap fails.

World Trade Center Responders with the Greatest Exposure to Toxic Dust Have a Higher Likelihood of Liver Disease

Mount Sinai researchers have found evidence for the first time that World Trade Center responders had a higher likelihood of developing liver disease if they arrived at the site right after the attacks as opposed to working at Ground Zero later in the rescue and recovery efforts. Their study links the increase in liver disease risk to the quantity of toxic dust the workers were exposed to, which was greatest immediately after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

12% of Secondary Imaging Interpretation Costs are Paid by Patients

A new Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute study found that patients paid 12% of the costs of secondary imaging interpretation out-of-pocket. Such secondary interpretations are increasingly performed for complex patients, but patients’ liabilities and paid out-of-pocket costs were not previously known. This Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR) study was based on 7,740 secondary interpretations for adult patients performed in a large metropolitan health system over a 2-year period.

Legislation for Surprise Billing May Decrease In-Network Reimbursement

A new Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute study, published in Radiology, reviewed the implications of unexpected out-of-network balance billing—commonly called surprise billing—on reimbursement for hospital-based specialties such as radiology. The analysis concluded that even physicians who never engaged in such billing practices may still be impacted by the No Surprises Act, which is due to take effect in 2022.

Penn State Health provides patients with most advanced imaging services through agreement with Siemens Healthineers

A new ten-year agreement between Penn State Health and Siemens Healthineers will mean enhanced diagnostic services, more precise and efficient imaging and an optimal experience for patients needing radiology, radiation oncology and cardiology services.

University Hospitals First in the World to Integrate New General Electric Healthcare Imaging System into Daily Clinical Practice

University Hospitals in Cleveland is the global pioneer in full clinical adoption of GE Healthcare’s new Critical Care Suite 2.0, the world’s first on-device artificial intelligence program helping to assess endotracheal tube placement.

Study finds risk of leukemia higher than expected in children with Down syndrome

The risk of childhood leukemia among kids with Down syndrome is higher than predicted, according to a new study led by UC Davis and UC San Francisco researchers. Early diagnosis remains critical.

Catching more breast cancers when mammograms are limited

In one of the largest research projects of its kind, a new study published in JAMA Network Open looks at nearly 900,000 individuals and close to 2 million mammograms to come up with a new way to detect the most breast cancer cases with the fewest exams.

CT Colonography Rates Bolstered by US Preventive Service Task Force Recommendation

A new Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute study found a 50% increase in screening computed tomography colonography (CTC) rates after the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announcement of the updated recommendation on colorectal cancer screening in 2016. This American Journal of Preventive Medicine study evaluated the association among the updated recommendation, patient cost sharing, and the uptake of colorectal cancer screening through CTC in the privately insured population.

New Study Reveals Radiologists Now Perform the Majority of Lumbar Punctures in the Medicare Population

This new American Journal of Neurology (AJNR) study found that radiologists performed 54% of lumbar puncture procedures (LPs) in 2017, representing significant growth over the 14 year longitudinal study. This study evaluated trends in performance of LPs by various medical specialties from 2003 to 2017 and raises the question of whether the shift of LPs from other specialties to radiology is justified. The results were also featured at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, 2021.

Radiology Societies Urge HHS to Reject Proposed Deregulation of Specific AI Software

In a March 5, 2021 letter from the American College of Radiology® (ACR®), Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) urged US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials to reject a “midnight” proposal by the immediate-past HHS Secretary to permanently exempt certain medical devices from the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 510(k) premarket notification requirements.

AAPM Advances Best Practices for Patient Safety in X-Ray Imaging

Since April 2019, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine has championed a critical way to make X-ray imaging safer and more effective by discontinuing the long-standing practice of placing leaded shields over patient gonads. Today, the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements released a statement recommending the discontinuation of routine shielding of patient gonads during X-ray imaging exams and AAPM stands ready to help imaging providers, patients and caregivers to understand and adopt these new best practices – practices that will ensure safer and higher-quality X-ray exams.

American College of Radiology Education Center Launches Virtual Micro-Courses

The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Education Center is expanding its offerings to include a series of micro-courses covering a variety of specialties. Each micro-course begins with one-week online access to pre-recorded lectures and cases for a self-paced deep dive on the most challenging topics in a chosen specialty, followed by a virtual two-hour group case review and Q&A with faculty via Zoom and two additional days to review the case content.

Study Finds that 41% of Radiologists Changed Jobs Over 4 Years

A new Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute study showed that nearly 20% of radiologists separated from a practice in a single year, indicating that radiology is impacted by broader workforce trends toward job hopping. This Journal of American College of Radiology (JACR) study tracked recent trends and characteristics of radiologist-practice separation across the United States.

¬Children With Asymptomatic Brain Bleeds As Newborns Show Normal Brain Development At Age 2

A study by UNC School of Medicine researchers finds that neurodevelopmental scores and gray matter volumes at age two years did not differ between children who had MRI-confirmed asymptomatic subdural hemorrhages when they were neonates, compared to children with no history of subdural hemorrhage.

Forty studies later, a Keck Medicine of USC radiologist reveals what he has learned about COVID-19

Ali Gholamrezanezhad, MD, a clinical emergency radiologist with Keck Medicine of USC, was one of the first researchers to study COVID-19 in early 2020. Today, Gholamrezanezhad has co-authored more than 40 papers on the disease, gathering and analyzing a wide array of data and patient scans. He offers his unique insights into a virus that has infected more than 43 million people worldwide.

New Study Exposes Potential Expansion Barriers to Functional MRI for Medicare Patients

A new Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute study found that functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) steadily increased from 2007-2014 but has now been static due to potential expansion barriers. This diagnostic imaging method is critical in determining brain functions as well as for assessing the potential risks of surgery or other invasive treatments of the brain. This American Journal of Neuroradiology (AJNR) study is the first of its kind to assess the nationwide adoption of fMRI.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Awards and Appointments

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) announces its most recent awards and appointments for the institution’s physicians, scientists, nurses, and staff.

American College of Radiology and University of Pennsylvania Create Joint Program to Advance Quantitative Imaging Diagnostics and Analytics

The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Center for Research and Innovation™ (CRI) is pleased to announce a new collaborative effort with the Center for Biomedical Image Computing & Analytics (CBICA) in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). The collaboration will leverage the ACR’s industry-leading research infrastructure and Penn’s scientific expertise in a joint effort to more rapidly advance imaging informatics.

American College of Radiology Releases New and Updated ACR Appropriateness Criteria

The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) today released an update to its ACR Appropriateness Criteria® (ACR AC), which includes 198 diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology topics with 965 clinical variants covering more than 1,700 clinical scenarios. This update includes six new and 10 revised topics. All topics include a narrative, evidence table and a literature search summary. Patient-friendly summaries , which are intended to help patients understand what tests are appropriate for their situation and enhance communication from ordering physicians and radiologists, are available for a number of topics as well.