Its full steam ahead as the health insurance exchange (HIE) open enrollment period comes to a close. With the announcement that 7 million individuals have enrolled in the plan, many changes are expected based on this new patient population. Radiologists and other healthcare providers will be in the dark for some time, until data is released that may indicate how this group will affect utilization rates and revenues.

Data, it seems, is the key. Consumer business models that predict sales and revenue potential based on knowing our personal preferences and demographic information have become commonplace in our lives. Now some healthcare companies see the advantages that this information, in addition to personal health information, can add to predicting health risks, ability to cover financial responsibility for healthcare costs, and offering more comprehensive services to patients. There are still a lot of concerns, however, about personal privacy and ethics that need to be worked out before big data becomes commonplace in provider financial models.

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