most dose. This means that your 16, 32,
and 40 slice scanners may not be included. To meet the standard and not experience a payment penalty these scanners
will have to be replaced. This is going to
be on top of any and all other reductions
put in place this year.
Now that you know the legislation exists, what’s next? Don’t despair or panic
just yet! Take a deep breath! You need to
work closely with your reimbursement
and business analysis team. Understand
what it all means. How are your CT machines affected? Will they stand and convert to dose software or will they have to
be replaced? Talk with your vendor and
see what is available and what the cost
will be. Then get with your financial experts at your hospital and go over the legislation. Ask the tough questions: What
will the 5% cut mean to us? What will the
15% cut mean? It could be that over time
it is better to take the cut, especially if the
organization does not have capital. Over
the long run it may make sense to invest
in appropriate capital.
AHRA has an advocacy committee
that has begun to look at the association’s
involvement in governmental issues that
affect medical imaging. They will keep us
informed. You can also write your Congressman. In reality, we will have to sit
and wait to see just what “The Secretary”
deems as the CT equipment standards
and how this affects our exposure. Most
likely it means capital planning for dose
software and/or new CT equipment purchases. Again, it is important to note that
the slice amount of those machines may
be of importance.
Sorry to be the bearer of grim news,
but this is a very important issue that
hits imaging operations in the gut! I feel
for hospitals and healthcare organizations that are struggling to stay afloat.
With hospital mergers occurring as “the
new normal” this may further push that
agenda. To survive, strength in numbers
seems to be “the new normal” for healthcare organizations. Keep a pulse on this,
my friends, and remember it come election season.
Ed Yoder, MBA, MHA, RT(R), CRA, FAHRA is the
director of imaging services at Lexington Medical
Center in West Columbia, SC. He holds a master’s
degree in business administration, as well as a master’s
degree in healthcare administration from the University
of St. Francis. Ed is currently serving as the 2013–2014
President of the AHRA Board of Directors. He may be
contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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