What’s In Store for 2015?

The more things change, the more they stay the same, or so the saying goes. Seems apt when looking ahead to the big stories looming in 2015 for imaging.

The push for value endures, and radiology will continue to establish its role in the era of accountable care. Long a topic of discussion among imaging thought leaders, with each passing year the urgency to prove value (and avoid commoditization) ramps up a notch. Leadership from the American College of Radiology’s Imaging 3.0 campaign will continue to play a big role.

And stop me if you’ve heard this one before: advanced imaging services will be scrutinized to ensure that Medicare isn’t overpaying. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) included a number of imaging-related items in its 2015 work plan that is used to highlight targets of investigations or audits. This year’s lineup includes items previously under OIG’s microscope—such as determining whether Medicare payments for Part B imaging services truly reflect expenses and evaluating necessity and utilization of high-cost diagnostic imaging.

Change is in the air, though, for coverage of digital breast tomosynthesis. Late last year, CMS announced it would include payment codes for tomo in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Hospital Outpatient Payment System. In effect since the first of the year, this should be a boon for the use of tomosynthesis, and you can read more on the topic on page 28.

A new year also means a new set of retiring radiologists and a fresh group of skilled young professionals waiting to take their place. Whether you are closer to the former group or the latter, I recommend checking out Health Imaging’s look at the evolving imaging career in this issue. We talked to experts about how to improve imaging education and about knowing when to retire, as well as gathering tips for those who are looking for more of an administrative role. Maybe this will be the year you make the big career move.

As always, we’re glad you’re using Health Imaging to help stay on top of the big issues in radiology. Here’s to a great 2015!