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UBM Medica's Diagnostic Imaging Explores Pay Cuts and Cloud-Based Image Sharing

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NORWALK, Conn., Feb. 29, 2012 / -- UBM Medica's Diagnostic Imaging today announced special coverage of what experts in radiology say the biggest challenges facing radiologists in 2012 are – including the uncertainty of bundled payments and resulting reimbursement cuts for medical imaging.

Reporting in February's feature article, Diagnostic Imaging found that industry leaders are concerned about reduced payments, including proposed Medicare cuts and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' multiple procedure payment reductions, which adversely affect radiologists.

"We are involved in an evolution toward a new payment model. The bottom line is that healthcare is turning away from the fee-for-service system and moving toward capitated services," Maurine Spillman-Dennis, senior director of health policy at the American College of Radiology (ACR), told Diagnostic Imaging. "It will be a challenge for radiology to fight under this new care delivery model and make sure its practitioners are paid for services provided."

Radiologists are also facing a shift to more cloud-based image sharing, fueled in part by the growth in telemammography and teleradiology. Those trends may shape the responsibilities of private practice and hospital-based radiologists, said James Thrall, MD, radiologist-in-chief at Massachusetts General Hospital and former ACR president.

Although the full impact of some of these trends remains unclear, radiologists must ultimately refine how they perceive themselves in the healthcare system, experts told Diagnostic Imaging. Radiologists must become integral and aligned with medical staff, and develop their leadership and management skills to thrive amidst the practice and policy changes.

"Overall, in 2012," Thrall said, "the industry must concentrate on highlighting the vital role it plays in patient care."

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