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Editor's e-Note
The new year has brought us health care reform's expected anxieties and a surprising one: an extremely rare—twice in 23 years—dip in overall health care employment. It’s the topic of this month’s E-News Exclusive, but likely nothing to panic about.

Jim Knaub, editor
e-News Exclusive
Is the December Health Care Employment Drop Just a Blip?
By Jim Knaub

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week that health care employment in the United States dropped this past December—for only the second month since 1990. The bursting of the speculative dot-com bubble couldn’t do it, nor the slowdown after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Even the subprime mortgage-driven Great Recession of 2008 couldn’t do the job, but last month it happened.

But one data point doesn’t make a trend, and it could represent just a blip on the chart—like this chart from Given that December was the month before the health care exchange provisions of the Affordable Care Act kicked in, it isn’t hard to think that health organizations may be skittish about the impending change.

Looking at trends localized to imaging, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists’ (ASRT) Radiologic Sciences Staffing and Workplace Survey 2013, which gathered its data this past August to September and was published in November, reflected a continuing softness in the technologist market. The 2013 survey (based on 1,145 responses) reported these findings:

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In This e-Newsletter
Worth Repeating
“Primary care physicians [PCPs] rely on advanced imaging and see it as a critical tool in their practice arsenal. And the partnership between PCPs and radiologists can only be bolstered as referring physicians gain a deeper understanding of the benefits of advanced imaging.”

Christine Hughes, a health care economics expert with the Hadley Hart Group, during a presentation at RSNA 2013
Recently Online
Five Things to Watch in 2014
Here’s our annual list of some of the key items from RSNA that we think will prove noteworthy this year and beyond. Read more »

Reporter’s Notebook: RSNA 2013
Read about the latest findings from December’s annual meeting. Read more »

Renal Denervation
Researchers are investigating whether this minimally invasive catheter-based technique is an effective treatment for drug-resistant high blood pressure and other diseases involving overactive sympathetic nerves. Read more »

Small Steps Protect Little Feet
Learn how radiologists and imaging manufacturers are trying to reduce radiation dose for pediatric patients. Read more »

Dense Breast Tissue and Screening
Radiology Today discussed dense breast tissue notification laws with Carol H. Lee, MD, FACR, chair of the ACR’s Communications Committee of the Breast Imaging Commission and past president of the Society of Breast Imaging. Read more »
Other Imaging News
MRI May Aid Diagnosis of Wrist Problems
University of California, Davis researchers have found a way to use MRI scans to create “movies” of patients’ wrist motions, which aid in diagnosing wrist problems, according to their press release.

ESC Paper Urges Cardiologists to Reduce Radiation
The European Society of Cardiology released a position paper stating that cardiologists must be more mindful of radiation exposure when ordering tests, Medical News Today reports.

MRI May Help Select Patients for Stroke Therapy
MRI may help select patients with acute strokes who are more likely to benefit from endovascular therapy, as reported by MedPage Today.

PET/MR May Be Whole-Body Technique
PET/MR may show promise in evaluating abdominal malignancies and detecting women’s pelvic cancers, according to an RSNA press release.
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