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April 2015 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
Several years ago, I called a nearby hospital wound center looking for a price on hyperbaric oxygen treatment. The people I spoke with on two separate calls put me off for a while, until one guy finally suggested about $2,000 per visit. He pushed pretty hard to book me and was a little miffed when I told him there was no way he was going to see me climbing into that tube until he had my insurance company’s approved referral in his system and I had it in my freckled fist. After 28 visits and one healed foot wound, I received the explanation of benefits (EOB) from my insurer. I’d roared through my deductibles that year and owed just $450 on $42,000 in charges. I didn’t look deeper into the EOB to see whether those were gross or negotiated charges because the out-of-pocket amount was a victory to me.

That was my most significant encounter with health care price transparency, the topic of this month’s E-News Exclusive.

— Jim Knaub, editor
e-News Exclusive
Increased Cost Transparency on the Horizon

A little survey study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology looked at the price transparency of CT scan. Aaron B. Paul, MD; Rahmi Oklu, MD, PhD; Sanjay Saini, MD; and Anand M. Prabhakar, MD, called 32 prominent academic centers and large private practices looking for the cash price of a noncontrast head CT. In the resulting paper, “How Much Is That Head CT? Price Transparency and Variability in Radiology,” they reported that 78% of the imaging facilities they called provided the answer. When academic facilities were queried, the results were almost identical. While a study of 32 phone calls is not the definitive work on price transparency, it suggests that the large academic hospitals and private practices are paying attention to its importance.

Full story »
Other Imaging News
Study Finds First Evidence of Neuroinflammation in Brains
of Chronic Pain Patients

Massachusetts General Hospital is reporting that researchers at their facility found evidence of neuroinflammation in key regions of the brains of patients with chronic pain.

Study Finds Positive Outcome in Restoring Sight Even in Adulthood
After a Lifetime of Profound Blindness

The  Université de Montréal announced the results of a study that showed that the brain positively adapted following eye surgery to restore sight in a patient that had suffered from near-blindness her entire life.

MRI Shows Brain Differences in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Using functional MRI images, researchers at Vanderbilt University examined social play exchanges on multiple levels and found associations among brain regions, behavior, and arousal in children with autism spectrum disorder.

Researchers Find Genetic Variants Influencing the Size
of Human Brain Structures

An international team of researchers recently found five genetic variants that influence the size of structures within the human brain.
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In This e-Newsletter
Recently Online
CT Technology Update: Dual-Energy Duel
Recent buzz regarding CT has centered on only a handful of topics, most notably CT for lung cancer screening and multienergy exams. Not surprisingly, these are areas in which companies have focused their new products. Read more »

Notification Also Needs Education
Nearly one-half the states in the United States have dense breast notification laws, and a bill for a national law has been introduced in Congress. Yet, an educational gap between imagers and primary care physicians remains a hurdle that the industry will need to conquer. Read more »

Over the past 15 years, PET/CT has replaced standalone PET as the primary tool for many cancer diagnoses. However, in the past five years, PET/MRI has begun to gain popularity and could supplant PET/CT in some areas of oncology, neurology, and cardiology. Read more »

Radiology Today Interview: Teleradiology, Young Radiologists, and the Future
Greg Rose, MD, PhD, CEO of Rays, a teleradiology company based in Littleton, Colorado, discusses where he thinks teleradiology and radiology in general are headed. Read more »
Worth Repeating
“Our goal here is really to try to get away from, ‘Every patient with breast cancer needs these drugs, and this amount of chemotherapy, and this surgery,’ and instead to personalize surgical treatment based on how the patient responds to chemotherapy.”

Judy C. Boughey, MD, a breast surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, on the results of a study that found that not all women with lymph node-positive breast cancer treated with chemotherapy before surgery need to have all of their underarm nodes taken out, according to a press release from Mayo Clinic.
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