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By AHRA Staff

February 2010
 


Did You Know?

Did you know AHRA’s Rapid Review™ program can approve ARRT Category A CE credits for the educational programs you and/or your facilty have developed?  From the time your application is submitted, approval is usually granted in 2 weeks or less. And if there are problems with your submissions, we’ll work with you to get them in good order so your program is not delayed!

For more information about AHRA’s Rapid Review™ program, click here.



February AHRA Webinar: 
Imaging Accreditation and Payment Policies: What Radiology Administrators Need to Know

By Ernie Stewart, RT(R), CRA, MBA, MHSA

 

In 2008, Congress passed the Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) (H.R. 63331).  One section of this bill requires that by January 1, 2012, physicians and other suppliers of the technical component of advanced diagnostic imaging services (CT, MRI, nuclear medicine, and PET) be accredited by identified and approved entities.  If providers of these services fail to obtain accreditation, they will not be eligible for reimbursement.

The intent is to cause imaging facilities to adopt and maintain a higher level of quality care and service for the patients they serve.

This month’s webinar will provide a detailed review of MIPPA requirements and accreditation issues, with a specific concentration on payment policies.  In addition, the speaker will discuss regional policies currently in place with private insurance providers.

As a participant, you will learn:

  • Details of Local Coverage Determinations (LCDs) for both Part A and Part B Medicare.
  • How to locate documentation of payment polices applicable to imaging procedures provided in your facility.
  • How to time application submissions to ensure compliance with payment policies.

This session will be conducted by Sandra L. Katanick, RN, RVT, FSVU, CAE.  Sandra is the chief executive officer of Intersocietal Accreditation Commission of Ellicott City, MD and is an accomplish author and lecturer.  Her background as a registered nurse, vascular technologist, and department director allow her to address accreditation issues from many perspectives. 

Register now for this webinar, which will be presented on:
Thursday February 25, 2010
1:00-2:30 pm Eastern

This webinar is generously sponsored by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission.

Ernie Stewart RTR, CRA, MBA, MHSA, is a director on the 2009-2010 AHRA Board of Directors, as well as Chair of the 2009-2010 Webinar Design Team.  He is director, radiology/imaging services at Baylor Health Care System in Garland, TX.  He can be reached at ernest.stewart@baylorhealth.edu

.

 



New Members

The staff and members of AHRA warmly welcome the following new members!

David Denk, Indianapolis, IN
Gregory Dunlap, Fruita, CO
Julia Gil, Leiria, Portugal
Santia Hotaling, Middletown, NY
Barry Jessie, Indianapolis, IN
Adam Kramer, New York, NY
Janet Labron, Marquette, MI
Alice Lathrop, Columbia, SC
Chad Lehman, Lancaster, OH
Roberta Lockoleo, New York, NY
Christopher Lyn, Mississauga, ON Canada
Beth Parsley, Paoli, IN
Kevin Pepper, Fort Worth, TX
Inna Shtramel, Stamford, CT
James Timpe, Lisle, IL
Fred White, Hemet, CA
Thomas Young, Indianapolis, IN
Julie Zimmerman, Decatur, IN

Do you know someone who can benefit from an AHRA membership? Let us know! Send the contact information to our membership department at memberservices@ahraonline.org. If your referral joins, you’ll be listed here as well!


 

Online Institute Featured Webinar

 

Recognizing that today’s medical imaging leaders need high-quality information that is easily accessible, AHRA designed the Online Institute to provide courses (Quick Credit articles, conference sessions, and webinars) in a wide array of subject areas that are relevant to the profession. These courses are approved for ARRT Category A Continuing Education (CE) credit.  Participants can easily login, select a course, take a test, get the results, and print the CE letter all in the same visit. 

This month’s featured archived webinar from the Online Institute is “Staff Productivity: Changing Can’t to Can.”  

Staff Productivity: Changing Can’t to Can
By William R. Colwell

In today’s rough economic environment, the need to increase volumes and keep staff productive is paramount. The barriers that keep referring physicians and patients from utilizing the imaging services at a facility are detrimental to success. Developing services and initiating operational changes (ie, including nights and weekends, establishing quality measures) can help in preventing leakage and maintaining the competitive strength of a facility. Getting staff to change is part of that operational change and can be a difficult prospect, but one that can have a high return on investment. Providing a method that allows the staff to be engaged in the process is very important. It gives them the opportunity to be participants rather than spectators in change development. These efforts on the part of the staff need to be encouraged and recognized to foster continuous support and involvement. Promoting this change to the referring physician community allows them to understand what is being done to meet their needs and the needs of their patients.

To view this and other archived webinars, Quick Credit articles, and conference sessions, and to take the associated CE exams, click here.


 

Notes From the List Server

 

The AHRA List Server is an online tool that allows you to network with other imaging professionals, in one common place.  Many AHRA members take advantage of this exclusive member benefit and use the List Server daily to share valuable information with their peers.

Below is a recent discussion:

“Can anyone share with me your thoughts of this case: I have a full time diagnostic tech who wants to (on his own time, not work time) come over to CT to observe and do the required CT studies so that he can take his CT boards. I am concerned about the possibility that, because he will be here on his own time, something would happen to him (ie, injure himself) or the patient.  Yet I want to help him obtain what is required for CT boards.  He can not come in as a volunteer because volunteers at this institution cannot help or assist (ie, touch) patients.”

–Kathy Rostkowski

Responses:

— We have struggled with that same request this week (except, in our case, it is a CT tech who wants to observe in MRI). We cannot allow them to be here when not on the clock, for the very reasons you listed. We currently have no cross training initiative going from CT to MRI, mainly because of the way our state licenses work.  We cannot allow anyone without an MRI certification to work in MRI. We do cross train x-ray to CT, but it is an expensive venture. In that modality, we budget for the cost.

 

— I would run that by your HR department. I think the liability may be a problem.

 

–Yes, I agree. We do not allow that type of observation in our facility, even if it is a member of our staff.

We allow techs to observe, and have had great results by filling hard to find positions.  We currently have 2 of our hourly techs training in CT on their own. We also have training in nuclear medicine, ultrasound, CT, and MRI for interns from other schools.

Put the staff, with a desire to learn, on the payroll. I see it as investing in your coverage.
Also, be careful of workers compensation, patient care incidents, and wage and hour rules.

Technologists are not permitted do patients on their own time. Unless they are on the clock, neither they nor the patient nor the hospital has coverage.  I would expect that your HR department would have big issues with this, letalone your liability insurance.  If you have the need for someone else to train in CT, then transfer them to CT part of their time to train after they have successfully learned cross sectional.

I have a couple of techs who have asked to come in, uncompensated, to learn CT and mammography, so I have them clock in and I change their activity code to educational time. They get paid and it does not count against productivity, but it does cover them for any misadventures during their time here.

We have a formal document the tech signs, which indicates they are in a formal observation module learning environment, on their own time. Our legal person said that since they were employees, it is no different than something happening on their way to the parking lot or to a student who is observing.

 

For more information about AHRA’s List Server, click here.

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