March 2012

Hospitals Employing Radiologists

By Jim Knaub
Radiology Today
Vol. 13 No. 3 P. 4

Hospitals employing radiologists? And it’s working? I shook my head, too, when Arun Jethani first told me his consulting group has experienced real success crafting such arrangements between radiologists and hospitals. I did not ask whether this occurred at gunpoint.

Then when writer Tim Boden sent me his article on the subject, I asked him whether Jethani and his Medical Imaging Specialists (MIS) colleagues were actually representing radiologists, not just hospitals, in these deals. Boden chuckled at my question (we’ve known each other for a long time) and said one-half of the MIS clients are radiology groups.

Radiology Today readers come from both camps, too. I have sat in meetings at RSNA and listened to radiologists rip hospital administrators, and I’ve attended AHRA sessions and heard radiology directors lambast radiologists. (Technologists certainly read the magazine, too, but get to sit this one out.)

But from whichever desk or workstation you ply your profession, you should notice that the delivery of imaging services is changing; splintering is probably a more accurate word choice. Be prepared for the expansion of hospital-employed radiologists beyond a handful of large, highly integrated healthcare systems. And expect the employee model to be one of several that grow in the coming years. Of course time will tell which will be successful. And I don’t believe traditional radiology groups are on their way to extinction—although they probably will get larger and stomp on some little ones.

That said, Jethani and his colleague Timothy Stampp offer some interesting insights on how to make hospital employee radiology models work for both sides.

It’s also worth noting that neither the hospitals nor the radiology groups MIS works with were willing to be interviewed for Boden’s article. It remains a sensitive topic.

Also, this month is the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) annual meeting in San Francisco, an event that always interests me. Stop by booth XXX to say hello, and keep an eye out for our tweets from the meeting.

Enjoy the issue.