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In This Issue
Worth Repeating
“We need to demonstrate that we have the expertise technically to know not only what is the best test at the best time, but we also need to show that we really know how this equipment works. Our role is clearly to educate the patient, the referring physicians, and our colleagues in other specialties.”

— Joseph P. Finizio, MD, president and CEO of Radiology Imaging Associates,
in the ACR article “8 Ways to Maintain a Good Relationship With Hospitals and Referring Physicians”
Editor's E-Note
In most businesses, the same person typically orders, pays for, and receives the product or service. When said recipient is a patient, that dynamic changes. In radiology, the patient receives the exam, another doctor typically orders it, and frequently a third party pays you for it. Imaging professionals understand this, but as healthcare takes on more characteristics of mainstream businesses, it’s important to keep sight on this differentiation, as illustrated by this month’s E-News Exclusive.

— Jim Knaub, editor
E-News Exclusive
Separating Patients and Customers
By Jim Knaub

A new study published in the February issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology reports that 95% of primary care physicians prefer to deliver the results of radiology examinations to their patients. So if the customer is always right—and if the referring physician is the customer in this case—radiology departments need to carefully consider how they release results directly to their patients.

"There is considerable interest in improving radiology reporting practices. However, as radiologists propose measures to improve reporting, it is wise to obtain an understanding of the needs and opinions of referring physicians, particularly primary care physicians, regarding these measures so that their feedback and ideas can be incorporated into any change in practice," says study author Andrew J. Gunn, MD.

Full Story »
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Currently in Radiology Today
Ultrasound First
The AIUM’s Ultrasound First campaign asks physicians to consider the many benefits of using ultrasound as the primary imaging modality instead of CT or MRI.
Read more »

Error Reports
Here are some helpful tips on how to use error rates as significant assessments of an organization’s coding staff and incentive plan. Read more »

Technology Update: MRI
Manufacturers’ latest developments in MRI technology are made with the patient’s comfort in mind. Read more »

Eight Steps to Better Strategic Planning
With rising costs and lower reimbursement rates, radiology groups need a facilitator to help plan ahead and ensure success through realistic goals. Read more »

Automated Lesion Tracking
Outside of clinical studies, radiologists don’t always obtain and record measurements needed to track lesion size. Automating the procedure could make the data more available to clinicians. Read more »
Other Imaging News
2012 Annual Buyers' Guide

FDA Advisory Panel Recommends Approval for New MRI Contrast
An FDA advisory panel recommended approval for the gadolinium-based MRI contrast gadoterate meglumine, according to this MedPage Today report, with a restriction on using the agent in children under the age of 2. Gadoterate meglumine is marketed outside the United States under the trade name Dotarem and has been used in more than 30 million patients.

Customizable AAA Graft Allows More Patients
to Avoid Open Surgery

A new graft and technique can enable more abdominal aortic aneurysm patients to receive endovascular treatment rather than open surgery, according to doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

CT Analysis May Provide Imaging Biomarker
in Esophageal Cancer

A postprocessing test of CT scans called texural analysis may predict which patients will respond well to chemotherapy and surgery for localized esophageal cancers, according to this report from the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

Republican Plan for Eliminating SGR Fix Looks Familiar
Recent House hearings on replacing the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula brought plans that look very similar to previous attempts at an SGR fix—defining payment rates by statute for a number of years and then transitioning to payments based on quality and efficiency, according to this MedPage Today report.

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