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We’re only halfway through the current calendar year, and already radiology practice in the U.S. has been jolted by not one but two major transactions.
Why in the world would two radiology practices competing for business in the same market consider sharing market information, revealing operational and performance data and—most counterintuitively of all—combining forces and resources in a joint venture (JV)?
At the most recent meeting of the Radiology Business Management Association in Charlotte, a new model for independent group practice collaboration was proposed to practices around the country. The model allows independent practices to succeed and is an alternative to the traditional radiology group alignment models of merger, acquisition, or outright takeover by a hospital or a private equity group. These collaborations can take different forms, but they share the same underlying goals: gaining the necessary resources to fulfill the needs of their primary clients—hospitals, payors and patients—inclusive of delivering meaningful information and decision support.
As my partner Doug Smith is fond of saying, the awakening period for hospitals is upon us.
In the most recent issue of this publication, I spoke of an emerging business model for radiology practices that want to maintain their independence while making the best use of economies of scale: local and/or regional affiliation. As hospitals and health systems continue to consolidate under emerging payment and delivery models, medical groups that hope to continue serving these customers as independent entities will have to increase in scope and scale to survive.
Welcome to the inaugural issue of MedAnalytx, the web journal of business analytics and informatics for the health-care practice.
In the last issue of RadAnalytics, I wrote about productivity and efficiency, with an emphasis on keeping an eye to quality. I believe that those group practices that figure out the key to improving individual radiologists’ productivity (as well as overall group productivity) while adhering to patient-centered quality objectives will thrive under the new collaborative reimbursement models that we are seeing in the market.
The topic of efficiency in radiology is both politically and emotionally charged. Improvements in radiologists’ productivity are increasingly critical to financial viability, but cannot be achieved at the expense of clinical quality, especially at a time when quality will be increasingly closely linked to reimbursement. Further, any radiology group that begins tracking (or even providing incentives for) efficiency risks an uphill battle, in terms of changing the culture of its business.
There are performance attributes that we measure well in today’s radiology practice. We are adept at tracking and analyzing clinical productivity, various revenue indicators, and compliance with programs such as meaningful use and the Physician Quality Reporting System. We have the ability to correlate profitability with payor mix, and we can
With radiology practices increasingly facing the imperative to function as businesses, dashboarding has become a favorite buzzword—but what does it really mean? It is our contention, at Integrated Medical Partners, that dashboarding is a widely misunderstood concept. A practice’s business intelligence is about much more than the visually pleasing