Adapt and Advance

Change comes on a couple different fronts. On the one hand, there are incredible advances in technology and increased understanding of how best to use the tools of radiology to make diagnosis more accurate and more efficient. Another kind of change that must be grappled with is that which is brought by a change in healthcare policy or standards.

In this issue, both kinds of change are highlighted. Our cover story, “Trends in Cardiovascular Imaging,” takes a look at the advances in 3D imaging of the heart, and how these new views are changing the way interventional procedures can be performed.

The article “Brilliant Signs” takes a deep dive into the latest research on imaging of neurodegenerative disease, including new biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease. Psychiatric disorders are also being targeted by imaging the dopaminergic system of the brain, and could change the way schizophrenia, ADHD and other conditions are diagnosed and treated.

In today’s healthcare environment, value is king, and in this issue, we’ve devoted a special section to the search for value. Titled “Quantifying Radiology, Building Value,” these four article each take a different angle on the changes in imaging meant to ultimately improve care.

Radiology Reports: Structure Is Eliminating Errors & Protecting Payment” looks at common errors in reporting that can jeopardize reimbursement, and also surveys the benefits of structured reporting templates.

Any advance in technology or technique is supported by years of research, and “Demonstrating Value, Driving Down Costs: Comparative Effectiveness Research & Radiology” showcases this work and the challenges involved with making sure practice reflects the findings of comparative studies.

Throughout 2014, policy changes will loom large as all of healthcare also will be adapting to efforts by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Providers are faced with Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program, and, in October, ICD-9 codes sets will be replaced by ICD-10.

On the subject of ICD-10, “The Clock Is Ticking” zeroes in on the coming coding shift and what the experts are saying about the impact of this extensive coding system.

Radiology has proven its adaptability time and again. It has always seemingly been on the cutting edge of technology, and by thriving in the face of reimbursement cuts, it has shown it can navigate policy changes as well. I’m confident the changes on the horizon will be no different.

Evan Godt, Editor