Roundtable: Charting the
• Radiology leaders met at the inaugural
AHRA-GE Healthcare Annual Summit to
discuss challenges facing the profession
and opportunities to drive success in a
fast changing care environment.
• Changes in the healthcare environment
mean unprecedented challenges for the
radiology profession. The Affordable
Care Act, declining reimbursement, an
aging population, growing consumer
choice, and other trends are forcing
radiology leaders to reexamine their
ways of doing business and even the
basic role of radiologists in patient care.
• Twelve members of AHRA shared their
views on essential topics in a moderated
roundtable discussion. That discussion
is transcribed here.
Justin Holland: How much change do
you anticipate in radiology over the
next five years? What will be the single
Penny Olivi, CRA, FAHRA: I expect a
tremendous amount of change. I think
the change in fee-for-service to pay-for-performance is going to impact radiology, both on the technical side and the
Sue Claybourne, CRA: I believe distributed image interpretation is going to be
our biggest change—how radiologists
learn to work in that new environment.
Roland Rhynus, CRA, FAHRA: Consolidation is going to be really big. For any
of us who have gone through a merger
or acquisition, that’s a scary time, and
our staff and our radiologists are going
to have a tough time with that.
Carlos Vasquez, CRA, FAHRA: In my
opinion, the biggest change we have is
how do we adjust to emptying the hospital versus filling the hospital? How do we
begin to think in terms of prevention and
maintenance versus the diagnostic role?
We’re going to have to be preventive and
help maintain the health of the population.
Vickie Bedel, FAHRA: I’m immersed
90% of the time in outpatient imaging.
We’re trying to collaborate more with
hospitals. Most of the bigger hospital
systems now are buying up not only
hospitals, but also physician practices. So
we have to be more collaborative and in
some respects sell to the big hospital sys-
tems in our areas that, because we know
imaging, we could deliver more efficient
outpatient services on their campuses.
Rob Reilly: I think radiology is among
the first areas to be hit by the consumerism trend, just because of its visibility,
its cost, and the ability of the average
patient to see that number and shop
around. That’s particularly true for hospital settings that may be higher priced
than non-hospital settings. I think this
is going to come to a head fairly quickly,
especially as more transparency tools
make their way to patients.
Jeff Palmucci, CRA, FAHRA: It appears
four parties are going to have to work
together to make the changes over the
next five to ten years: the government,
consumers, insurance companies, and
providers. We’re going to have to figure
out how to work together, and everybody
is going to have to pay some price.
Mark Steffen, CRA, FAHRA: I look at this
as an opportunity. I know our organization is facing a two percent cut each year
just to maintain. That’s an opportunity
for us as leaders to step up to the plate.
We’re talking about radiology and consumerism. How do we leverage our Lean
technology in performance improvement
to take a step up and be on the forefront
of our peers? We need to become the drivers of change—take the lead and show our
value to our hospital administration.