As the Pfizer vaccine has already shown promise, there is hope that, eventually, the pandemic will be over. As Radiologists have been forced to focus on the immediate situation, will they be prepared for the aftermath of this public health crisis?
Two of the main factors affecting radiology’s future status include regulatory issues and telemedicine.
Becoming an Advocate
You might have recently had to worry about the CMS cuts that would drastically affect radiology. Therefore it’s in your practice’s best interest to create stronger bonds with your insurers and the lawmakers who preside over the radiology industry that affect regulatory affairs. This should be done locally and nationally. Newer practices are recommended to join professional societies and make efforts to change policy about the business of radiology.
You can anticipate coming changes to the healthcare industry and make your opinions known to legislators. How can you complain about adverse effects of laws if you aren’t making efforts to be involved into those decisions?
Especially with the pending E&M changes that can reduce reimbursement by an estimated eleven (11) percent, this is the greatest time for radiology practices to jump in and become true advocates for the wellbeing of their industry.
At Ci, we always participate with a select group of advocates in a Grass Roots national legislative initiative aimed to speak on behalf our radiologists. Read our latest article here.
Teleradiology and remote reading will continue to be important to groups in 2021. The ongoing pandemic, severe weather in parts of the country and service to remote areas with sub-specialty expertise are some of the reasons.
Telemedicine is also another area radiology practices should develop and protect. The pandemic, the protests, severe weather, and random outbreaks of COVID in the future are more reason to encourage remote appointments.
But, telemedicine includes the need for data security.
Your organization must verify that it is following current best practices to guard and protect all data, especially patient information when conducting teleradiology networking. You don’t want sensitive information to wind up in the hands of enterprising computer criminals bent on identify theft and fraud. A computer security expert should be engaged for this vital task in the midst of this new era of telemedicine and brief the team on how to be safe. They can also make sure that you have more than adequate cyber-insurance in place. It’s likely that your team will be using telemedicine systems more often going forward working remotely.
Collaborative Imaging has developed and deployed a proprietary, cloud-based Radiology reading workstation into large hospital based radiology practices. This represents an important safety solution in this era. The Ci solution integrates all PACS systems that a practice may be reading into a unified worklist on industry standard viewers and dictation system. There is a robust “Help” desk, and embedded messaging capability to facilitate the communication between radiologist and referring physician as well as hospital imaging department personnel and patients. Ci provides nationwide / 24/7 sub-specialty reads and can deploy the solution quickly and effectively in a tight time frame to facilitate the solution needed today between hospital and reading radiologist.
Preparing for the Future
• Every practice should develop a strategy to plan for the 2021 issues that include on-going COVID and the potential of revenue impacts, that include reimbursement changes. You may also need to consider the use of AI to lower the burden on staffers for image interpretation. Adopting technology that helps with insurance, billing, and overhead costs is essential for practices to survive. There have been significant advances in technological innovation that make practices more efficient. All of the topics discussed are valuable for radiologists to engage in together.
So what’s next…
Give Collaborative Imaging’s Team a call to find out how our RCM and technology can add value to your group’s 2021.