vRad Shares its Data to Aid Providers in Demonstrating Imaging’s Value

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Virtual Radiologic (vRad) is rolling out free access to benchmarking metrics derived from its clinical database of more than 22 million imaging studies in order to help change the discussion around imaging utilization from one of managing costs to creating value.

As health care moves from a fee-for-service to a pay-for-performance model, clinical databases become increasingly important in demonstrating the value of radiology and in allowing individual hospitals and physician groups to compare their own performance with their peers. vRad notes that its clinical database contains imaging studies from more than 2,000 facilities in all 50 states, allowing it to provide a national projections of the U.S. market that can help all health care providers in assessing how their imaging use stacks up against national benchmarks.

Its RPC (Radiology Patient Care) Indices, released today, took two years to create and is a set of findings-based national and peer group radiology benchmarking metrics that hospital, radiology group and health system representatives can interact with online to create statistically significant metrics on imaging use at facilities like theirs that they can then compare with their own performance.

“In value-based healthcare, you won’t get paid for quality if you can’t prove it. And you can’t prove it if you don’t measure it,” noted Ben Strong, M.D., vRad’s Chief Medical Officer, in the press release announcing the availability of the RPC indices.

The first interactive RPC indices are on CT imaging use in Emergency Departments because of the key role EDs play in health care costs. However, plans include expanding the RPC indices to other imaging modalities, the company says.

“As healthcare moves quickly towards an accountable care environment, RPC Indices will help radiology become a strategic partner to be heard from, rather than a cost center to be managed,” said Jim Burke, CEO of vRad in the press release. “vRad is making RPC Indices available for free and unrestricted use because it’s the right thing to do to elevate radiology as a valued partner. We already see examples of how RPC Indices are helping our practice and those of our partners improve operational efficiencies and the quality of care for the patient communities we collectively serve.”

The RPC Indices for CT use in ERs are available at http://www.vrad.com.

Access is free and largely unrestricted. In a test drive by ImagingBiz, some results required sharing of contact information.