How Has the DRA Impacted Radiologists’ Income?
Plus Reimbursement for Interventional Radiology,
& Quality of Breast and Prostate Cancer Treatment
In the June Issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology
Reston, Va. — The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) placed a cap on the technical component of Medicare payments for nonhospital imaging services. The ACR conducted a survey in May and June of 2007 to determine the effect this legislation had on the professional and technical components of income, income derived from Medicare patients, practice changes resulting from Medicare payment cuts, and outside readings, which is detailed in an article in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR, www.jacr.org).
2007 Survey of Radiologists: Source of Income and Impact of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, by James W. Moser, Ph.D., and Dawn M. Hastreiter, M.D., Ph.D., reports on the survey results of approximately 600 ACR radiologist members. The authors determined that an average of 18 percent of radiologists’ income comes from the technical component and nearly all received income from the professional component. Reductions varied by modality, with magnetic resonance imaging topping all others with more than 34 percent. Practices were more likely to delay purchasing new equipment but less likely to reduce imaging services provided in response to the DRA cuts.
In Reimbursement Trends for Outpatient Interventional Radiology Procedures: Comparison of Hospital and Freestanding Physician Office Sites of Service, by Adam D. Talenfeld, M.D., et al., two main factors are identified as affecting interventional radiology practice: downward-trending reimbursement under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, and the prevalence of nonradiologist specialists performing IR procedures. The study authors project that reimbursements will fall by 36 percent in freestanding offices during the 2006-2010 time period, and by 16 percent in hospital outpatient departments. Arteriovenous fistula declotting was the most frequently reported interventional radiology procedure, and was performed by radiologists four times as frequently as the next most commonly reported procedure, the peripheral insertion of a central venous catheter.
Time Management: A Realistic Approach, by Valerie P. Jackson, M.D., emphasizes how four key elements of time management — goals, organization, delegation and relaxation — can together improve productivity and quality of life. While difficult to maintain, making strides towards achieving each of these elements being well-rounded both personally and professionally. The author suggests “ditching guilt,” which can involve increased stress, anxiety, and decreased productivity.
The latest initiative by Quality Research in Radiation Oncology™ (QRRO) will allow radiation oncologists to assess the quality of care in their own practices and compare it to those of other practices. This program is discussed in the article Using QRRO™ Survey Data to Assess Compliance With Quality Indicators for Breast and Prostate Cancer, by Jean B. Owen, Ph.D., et al. In this study, researchers developed QIs for breast and prostate cancer based on clinical, evidence-based guidelines. The authors concluded that benchmarking utilization patterns on an individual and national level will contribute to the evolution of appropriate cancer care.
The June issue of JACR is an important resource for radiology and nuclear medicine professionals as well as students seeking clinical and educational improvement. The CME article for this issue of JACR is 2007 Survey of Radiologists: Source of Income and Impact of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.
For more information about JACR, please visit www.jacr.org.
To receive an electronic copy of an article appearing in JACR or to set up an interview with a JACR author or another ACR member, please contact Stephanie Saltzberg at 703-716-7585 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 32,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of radiology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.
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