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Healthcare Economics & Policy


Conversations about compensation are among the toughest for healthcare leaders to navigate. Add accusations of gender bias, and it’s a powder keg.

The global ultrasound market is poised for a strong 2018 due in part to the expanded use of the imaging modality across medical specialties, along with projected growth in most major markets. Findings were published by Signify Research, an independent supplier of market intelligence to the global healthcare technology industry.

Ensuring mission and money in faculty compensation plans is a tall order for academic medical centers.

CMS announced a change in its payment policy to make it easier for patients with implantable cardiac devices to receive reimbursement for MRI scans.

Brent Shafer, previously CEO of Philips North America, has been named Cerner's new chief executive and chairman effective Feb. 1.


Recent Headlines

Imaging Under Fire: Radiology Seeks to Rebound from Reimbursement Reductions

By any measure, 2009 has been a rough year for medical imaging. The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that could change Medicare payments for advanced diagnostic imaging procedures, such as MRI, CT, PET and nuclear medicine, through an increase in the equipment utilization rate assumption from 50 percent to 75 percent.

Healthcare Reform Rumbles On

The summer of 2009 has, at long last, come to a close. However, the fiery rhetoric of partisan interests in the on-going debate over healthcare reform shows no sign of cooling down. The current drama over the provision of healthcare is not a new or original topic in the political discourse of the United States.

Stimulating IT Spending

As you know, investment and enrichment in EMRs is the focus of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009which allocates a whopping $19.2 billion to health IT. The numbers have been well-publicized, with $17.2 billion being funneled through the Medicare and Medicaid programs to help providers adopt EHRs and another $2 billion earmarked for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). Outside the direct contributions to pay for IT systems, there is another $10.4 million in related spending, according to HIMSS, for telecommunications, broadband and telemedicine.

Inside the Economic Stimulus Package: What's In It for Imaging & IT?

This year, one trend dominates the health imaging market and the entire economy. The lingering and deepening recession stands at the top of the list of items that keep CIOs, hospital and clinical department administrators, and radiologists awake at night. There is at least a spark of hope in the $787 billion U.S. economic stimulus package. So whats in it for imaging, radiology, cardiology and IT? Health Imaging & IT untangles the package, interpreting its implications for the health imaging world.

Building Business: Adding New Imaging Service Lines

Community hospitals that add new clinical services to better meet local needs can garner multiple benefits ranging including improved patient care and increased revenue. This month, Health Imaging & IT visits a pair of community hospitals that added new service lines to their portfolio to better meet local needs. Their business models provide a sound roadmap for other sites.

Getting the Word Out: No-cost Marketing Strategies for Radiology

The halcyon days of ensured financial success simply by virtue of being the community hospitals radiology department are a thing of the past. Market pressures from independent imaging centers, other medical specialties utilization of imaging modalities, and targeted reimbursement cuts for imaging procedures from government and private payors require radiology departments to aggressively compete for patients.

Obama signs SCHIP into law, minus self-referral ban
President Barack Obama Wednesday signed a $32.8 billion bill to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) for the next five years.
CMS guards $400M in improper Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP payments
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said it protected roughly $400 million of taxpayer dollars as improper payments for Medicare fee-for-service (FFS), a 3.9 percent decrease from 2007 to 3.6 percent, or $10.4 billion, in FY 2008.
Imaging Weighs the Evidence

Health imaging is one area of healthcare that has seen an unprecedented surge in utilization in the past decade. It is perhaps the fastest rising medical expenditure in the United States with an annual growth rate of 9 percent, nearly one-third more than the annual increase in general medical expenditures (approximately 6 percent). As such, policy-makers and payors are increasingly demanding evidence-based data to justify the utilization of many types of imaging procedures.

Reimbursement Update

The downs are outdoing the ups in radiology and radiation oncology reimbursement these days, but smart administrators can find some ways around the numbers.