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 - Lisa Fratt - Portrait
Lisa Fratt, Editor

The aftereffects of the Supreme Court's landmark decision on June 28 to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will ripple for years. Now, after months of speculation and stagnation, the U.S. can return to business as usual.

In the imaging setting, that's where Health Imaging fits. Our editorial staff is completely focused on helping radiology practices optimize operations. With some of the uncertainty that hung over healthcare behind us, we are eager to dive into topics that help you remain successful in your business.  

Screening mammography never seems to be far from the limelight. The modality notched a slight victory in June, when the American Medical Association (AMA) joined other major medical societies and voted at its annual policymaking meeting to stand firm against the 2009 recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The AMA, along with other major medical societies, recommends annual screening mammography beginning at age 40.

At the same time, the organizations concede that mammography is flawed. In this issue, Health Imaging explores the roles of varied screening and adjunctive technologies. Although none is poised to replace mammography, each can play an important role—while simultaneously bringing new challenges.

Another hot button issue that has nabbed its share of the limelight is radiation exposure. The state of California went live with the nation's first CT dose reporting law on July 1. Health Imaging visited with stakeholders at one hospital to learn how they prepared for the law and what challenges remain.

Farther under the radar, but vital to practice survival, are contract negotiations. Hospitals are under the gun to wring every ounce of value they can from their contracts. The result is an increasingly complex process, rife with potential pitfalls. Kenneth Davis, Jr., partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman law firm in Chicago, outlines strategies to help practices craft a win-win contract.

Like contracts, clinical relationships have risen to a new priority level in the radiology practice. The radiology community needs to converse and collaborate with colleagues across the enterprise, which requires understanding the evolving roles of imaging in practice. To that end, Health Imaging reviews the latest research and technical and operational considerations of cardiac MR.

While we applaud and encourage an ongoing business improvement process, we also recognize that summer is fleeting. Unwinding and unplugging can help you recharge and refocus. I'm confident the respite, as we anticipate a busy fall capped by RSNA, will serve you well.      

How can we better help you focus on business as usual? Please let us know.