Volume to Value in Imaging

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jebson_les_web_newBy Leslie Jebson, MHA, FACHE, FACMPE, LHRM

I’ve been fortunate to have worked at several different healthcare systems over the course of my career, and there has always been a common thread – I have always been enamored with the many facets of radiology, from the scientific aspects, to the adoption into a vast array of healthcare delivery modalities. I have been struck by the fact that at the end of the day, imaging touches more hospital departments, more medical and surgical specialties, and more patients than any other component of contemporary healthcare delivery.

With a new presidency and administration in its infancy and the uncertainty of further healthcare reform upon us, I am struck by the lack of direct dialogue regarding how imaging can and should play an integral role. Ironically, the introduction of new healthcare lexicon and reform models such as MIPS, MACRA, ACO, and bundling haven’t seemed to actively engage the utility and forefront role that imaging can and should play. If we are indeed supposed to make the gigantic shift away from total fee-for-service healthcare delivery; if we are to really embrace quality over quantity, then shouldn’t it start with our ability to harness imaging for more effective diagnostic assessment, intervention, and measurement?

The active push towards greater quality at a lower price resides in our ability to assess the health of a patient population, provide interventions as deemed appropriate, and measure the outcomes. I firmly believe that organized, effective utilization of imaging and its broad arsenal of modalities is the key to successfully migrating to this new health delivery paradigm.

And so, as I am granted the chance to visit with imaging administrators at the AHRA Spring Conference, I have taken the opportunity to dissect a few facets of the volume to value movement. Specifically, I have begun to examine the bundling of episodes of care and what role imaging administrators and clinicians should consider employing in this movement. Please join me for my session on March 11 at 11:00 AM, “The Bundled Payment Pie – How Big is the Imaging Slice?” At AHRA conferences, I often find myself and those with me taking away even greater insights for future application through our collective dialogue and interaction.

Leslie Jebson, MHA, FACHE, FACMPE, LHRM is an administrator/lecturer at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, IL. He can be reached at ljebson96@siumed.edu.

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