Practice Management

Actor Alan Alda, famous for his timeless role as Hawkeye Pierce, MD, offered physicians and scientists a bitter pill. Plain language, says the former host of the PBS series "Scientific American Frontiers," will go far in advancing science and medicine. Alda’s latest gig is a founder and visiting professor of journalism at the Stony Brook University Center for Communicating Science, recently renamed it the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science.

A former radiology resident diagnosed with insomnia is suing Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. The suit claims that the medical center violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to accommodate for her condition and requiring her to take overnight call shifts.

Kevin McNamara, Nova Scotia’s deputy health minister, has accused 27 radiologists of “potentially inappropriate billing” over a two-year period. The dispute centers on use of a CT fee code for certain procedures in four provinces.

Quebec physicians are lobbying the provincial health board to reverse its decades-long policy of “two-tiered medicine” that limits imaging reimbursement to exams provided in public institutions. The wait for CT, MRI and ultrasound exams in hospitals can extend to two years, while the costs for MR studies in private institutions can reach $1,000.

As healthcare providers strive to tap into patient engagement and radiologists attempt to personalize their specialty, it may pay to walk a mile in patients’ shoes. Cleveland Clinic provides viewers a lens into patients’ thoughts and struggles in this brief, but compelling, video. It’s a poignant reminder that pausing to consider the person behind the patient might just make one a better provider.

World class healthcare. It’s everyone’s vision and the ultimate goal. Getting there will be hard work. Gregory Goldstein, MD, president of MetisMD, detailed three strategies to help primary care providers tap into the wealth of expertise lurking behind the reading room door in in HuffPost Healthy Living April 3. They are: ask questions of radiologists, communicate with imagers before the exam and leverage technology for collaborative image viewing. Though the advice targets clinicians, the savviest radiologists are taking steps to assist clinicians with these strategies.

Thought leaders aim to re-invent performance evaluation and measure factors like collaboration and patient satisfaction. 

Imaging faces ongoing measures aimed at reining in utilization. Smart practices have tapped into a variety of strategies to boost appropriate use.