Diagnostic Reading #39: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

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A new week and a new issue of Diagnostic Reading. Today’s articles look at ICD-10 and radiology practices, the flood of image data, quality metrics and their affect on patient care, a survey about providers’ web efforts, and a new bill in U.S. Congress about recommendations from the USPSTF.

1) Is Your Radiology Practice Ready for ICD-10? – AuntMinnie

According to research published July 23 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, while the adoption of ICD-10 on October 1 will dramatically expand the number of billing codes frequently used in radiology claims, the new diagnosis coding system will affect some imaging subspecialties much more than others. A team led by Dr. Margaret Fleming from Emory University School of Medicine mapped the impact of converting diagnosis codes from ICD-9 to ICD-10 for nearly 600,000 radiology claims. Based on the results, the researchers projected a nearly sixfold increase in the number of billing codes that account for most claims.Carestream Logo

2) Flood of Image Data Threatens to Swamp Radiologists – AuntMinnie

According to a study published online in Academic Radiology, today’s radiologist has to review 16 cross-sectional images per minute, which works out to an image every three to four seconds. That compares to just three images per minute for the average radiologist in 1999. A new study by researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, examined the effect of advances in cross-sectional imaging on the workload of radiologists and found that radiologists are being forced to interpret a dramatically rising number of images, even as overall imaging utilization remains stable.

3) Do Quality Metrics Hurt Patient Care? – Healthcare IT News

According to a new survey from The Commonwealth Fund and the Kaiser Family Foundation, half of primary care physicians across the country view the increasing use of quality-of-care metrics and penalties for unnecessary hospitalizations as potentially troubling for patient care. The same survey shows 50 percent of physicians responding see healthcare information technology as a boon for quality care.

4) Survey: Provider’s Web Efforts Lacking, Patients Say – Healthcare Informatics

According to this new survey of approximately 1,000 adult Internet users, nearly three quarters (72 percent) of respondents feel that websites currently offered by healthcare providers could be more helpful. The top criticisms: inability to contact healthcare professionals via the user’s preferred method of contact; difficulty finding the information they’re looking for; and the inability to chat with a healthcare representative via the website in real time.

5) ACR Supports Bill to Stall USPSTF Draft Recommendations – Radiology Business Journal

The American College of Radiology (ACR) strongly supports a bill that would put a two-year moratorium on recent draft breast cancer screening recommendations made by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). H.R. 3339, the Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screenings (PALS) Act, was  introduced last week and would give Congress more time to properly discuss concerns that have been raised about both the USPSTF and the impact its recommendations could have on women’s health in the U.S.


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