Reliability, redundancy and mobility help provider keep pace with imaging needs Many radiology departments are feeling the pressure of “doing more with less”. For Columbus Regional Health in Indiana, the pressure was literal: the medical provider had to eliminate three RAD rooms yet maintain the same

Cuts in reimbursement and imaging, new Joint Commission standards and increasing patient expectations were top topics at AHRA2016.

A “sea change” in the environment of care, cuts in reimbursement and new standards from the Joint Commission were among the topics causing heartburn for radiology administrators at the AHRA2016 annual meeting.Image of person showing stress to AHRA updates

Sarah Hostetter of the Advisory Board Company opened her presentation by saying that “the changes in healthcare are enough to induce the need for an imaging stress test”. She then delivered an informative presentation on the “Key Forces Shaping Imaging Economics” that include volume, growth and regulatory outlooks for imaging, and the impacts of consumerism and value-based care.

Added stressors came in the form of updated standards from the Joint Commission that were presented by Judith Atkins, RN, MSN, McKenna Consulting. “For most providers, most of their reimbursement comes from Medicare. So Medicare has the power and they drove the Joint Commission to change its diagnostic standards,” Atkins said. “The new parameters will dramatically decrease imaging numbers.”

Image of Carestream’s Dan Monaghan

Dan Monaghan, Carestream Health, Introducing the AHRA Keynote Speaker

Before introducing the keynote speaker Monday at AHRA 2016, Carestream’s Dan Monaghan asked the radiology administrators in attendance three questions:

  1. Do you need more hours in the day?
  2. Do you wish you had more time and more energy?
  3. Could you use less stress and more fun in your life?

With hands raised and heads nodding, there was agreement that medical imaging directors are feeling the pressure of increased demands from hospital administrators, reimbursement changes and cost controls.

Speaker and author Christine Cashen took to the stage and used a mix of humor and relatable storytelling to compel AHRA attendees to change their perspectives and join her in the “Campaign to Stop Global Whining.”  Her message was simple: conflict is inevitable; different personalities require different approaches; only you can control your emotional state; and as a leader in your department, your positive energy will fuel your team’s success.

This shift in mindset can start with a few simple changes: