Leadership in Imaging: Looking Ahead
The topic of leadership in imaging has been heavy on the community’s mind of late. New programs, like the ACR’s Radiology Leadership Institute, are springing up with the goal of incorporating business education into radiologists’ busy schedules, and there have been passionate calls in the academic press for medical schools to incorporate health policy into their curricula for radiologists in training.
With these changes in mind, I was very interested to see what past presidents of the RBMA had to say about the future of leadership in imaging. In a session on Tuesday, May 21, seven
It Takes Will to Fight Commoditization
Over the past ten years, medical imaging has evolved to a highly competitive specialty in which patients and referrers are failing to see the value of your facility over another. “Commoditization” is the word that has been used ad infinitum.
What may be surprising is that the evolution was not only avoidable, it is still correctable. What is required for the course correction, however, is not a new business or marketing plan, nor a new CEO or any other administrative change. What it takes is the one element that is responsible for the success or failure of
Good Patient Communication Matters, So Why is it So Hard?
Improving physician communication skills is an increasingly hot topic, as the Wall Street Journal recently noted, because of a confluence of factors, including the rise of the empowered patient, malpractice suit trends, and changes in reimbursement that tie payment to metrics like patient satisfaction. However, as diagnostic imaging specialists well know, good communication takes time and effort that is largely unrewarded.
On top of this, even the most well-written and thoughtful radiology reports can be misread (or not read at all) by the ordering physicians. Never mind what may happen when patients are able to read their
Why Your Staff Needs Empowerment, Now!
Call this empowerment, part two, or, “The Power of Empowerment.” A month ago, my daughter, Kaitlyn, 22, began a career at Disneyland. To start, she is working in the park operating various “attractions,” which you know as rides. A couple of weeks ago, a boy of about seven spilled an entire box of popcorn. Without batting an eye, Kaitlyn walked over to a nearby popcorn stand and requested a replacement box, which she then gave to the boy.
With the park averaging about 35,000 Guests per day, there is probably a lot of spilled popcorn and replacing it could
Company Model Kickbacks In The Hospital Setting
In an article last August (OIG Disapproves Two Referral Arrangements as Kickbacks), I addressed the issue of kickbacks disguised as management fees and in the form of the so-called “company model.”
Those arrangements, which began in the anesthesia but which are by no means limited to it, originated in the outpatient facility setting.
Prior to the formation of the “company,” specialty services are provided by physicians for their own, or their group’s, account. After formation, only those specialists who become employed or subcontracted remain, with a significant share of the fees redirected to the
Benefits of Empowering Staff and Contractors Outweigh Risks
One of the most important but overlooked keys to a quality experience for your referrers and patients is staff empowerment. This is particularly important if you outsource your billing.
Here’s one scenario: Your patient, Mrs. Jones, receives an invoice for a small amount, say under $20. It doesn’t matter who is to blame, what matters is how the situation is handled.
Mrs. calls the number on the invoice and starts a conversation with your billing department that goes something like this:
Billing: Hello, Acme Medical Imaging, this is Jane, how may I
ImagingBiz: Influence and Leadership
I am pleased to announce a new addition to our comprehensive news and information portal in the form of a series of video commentaries. Within these occasional commentaries, I will take the opportunity to discuss the implications for medical imaging leaders of the various trends and issues facing our profession. This first video is a brief introduction to a new book that I found particularly relevant to those trying to manage for success in this increasingly complex environment.
Since 1983, Curtis Kauffman-Pickelle has been in the forefront of radiology communications. As the publisher of Applied
Get Out of the Reading Room and Meet Your Patient
There was a session at RSNA that you probably missed. And if you did attend it, there is a great chance that you have forgotten all of the valuable information you heard. So as a public service, I am providing the key points of this important meeting, which covered the challenges facing radiology:Both referring physicians and patients have ever-increasing expectations with respect to service quality, timeliness, and convenience.Economic and staffing constraints will always be significant.Too often, we have had a radiology-centric perspective on information technologies, concentrating only on how these electronic systems can enhance practice
Avoid Becoming a Commodity the Lego Way
As a parent of small children, I have a keen interest in the small, expensive, painful-to-step-on plastic building blocks called Legos. In 2011, Legos brought in $3.5 billion in revenue. It’s nearest competitor, Mega Bloks, earned a comparatively measly $400 million, reported NPR’s Planet Money recently.
Legos should by all rights be a commodity. The patent on the blocks expired long ago and courts all over the world have thrown out suits to prevent other companies from making blocks that connect with Lego blocks.
Conventional wisdom would say that the moment Legos’ patents expired, competitors inexpensive
Why Society’s Shift Means Your Group Needs a New Strategy
Neckties get wider, then narrower, then wider again. The tides come in and out and in again. And society cycles round and round from an emphasis on, and worship of, rugged individualism, to an emphasis on, and lauding of, community and cooperation.
I refer to this as the Me-We Cycle. (For an in-depth take on this concept from an historical and marketing angle, read Pendulum by Roy H. Williams and Michael R. Drew, released by Vanguard Press in October 2012. I highly recommend it.)
In the grand gestalt, over the past thirty to forty years, physicians