Healthcare Economics & Policy

Flattery. Nepotism. Popularity bias. The real motives driving the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s choices of Golden Globe winners? No—a few of the foibles compromising the integrity of name-based academic research, including peer-reviewed work published in medical journals. 

The time has come for patient-facing physicians to collaborate more closely with radiologists in deciding whether or not to image. And, going forward, the decision must incorporate patients’ values about “the pressing need to perform imaging tests more wisely.”

The more “likes” viewers give digital RSNA electronic education exhibits (EEEs), the more likely those EEEs are to win RSNA awards and/or be chosen to run in RSNA’s medical-education journal RadioGraphics.

Primary care residents learning to better handle iffy patient requests by using standardized patients (SPs)—i.e., instructors portraying patients for training purposes—are more satisfied with the resulting interventions. However, they do no better at ordering fewer exams deemed to be of low value by Choosing Wisely guidelines.

Providing women with financial incentives to undergo breast cancer screening did not lead to significantly more of them receiving a mammogram, according to a randomized, controlled trial. The women all had private insurance through the Tufts health plan in Massachusetts.

Value-based payments in radiology are here, and they are evolving fast. Nobody knows how they will morph, stretch, bend or otherwise play out in practice over the coming weeks, months and years. But there’s no more time to sit around waiting to find out before taking steps to adjust and prepare.

The head count of radiology trainees in the U.S. blossomed 84.2 percent between 1997 and 2011, but the workforce expansion isn’t as heartening for the specialty as it initially sounds.

Should 20- to 29-pack-year smokers be screened for lung cancer via low-dose CT just like those with 30-plus pack-years? 

Radiology should be shouting from the rooftops about the value they provide in order to avoid being commoditized. Despite this, the specialty lags behind in terms of measuring outcome-based quality metrics.

My 85-year-old mother volunteers as an intake person at a free clinic, but her high school Spanish is long gone. This week, she found herself on duty without an interpreter and was amazed when a much younger volunteer pulled her smart phone from her pocket, spoke a question into it, and out came the question in Spanish.  The app performed the inverse function for the Spanish-speaking gentleman, and voilà, the registration ensued.

A free-to-use online calculator to help providers assess the cost of nuclear stress tests is now available from University Nuclear & Diagnostics (UND).

A modest majority of physicians working in positions of executive leadership, 55 percent, believe there’s “more good than bad” in the Affordable Care Act.