Reorganizing for the Future

Group members at odds over the implementation of Imaging 3.0™? It may be time to restructure.

This is a non-breaking news alert: radiology is changing from a volume- to a value-focused model of care. In response, the ACR has developed Imaging 3.0™, an initiative that encourages radiologists to add value by engaging closely with patients and other members of the health care team.

While some radiology practices have already begun adopting Imaging 3.0 principles, the road to truly value-based care is fraught with hurdles, including misaligned incentives and resistance to change. To overcome these obstacles, radiologists say that practices must do one thing: overhaul their organizational structures.

Representing a monumental cultural shift, Imaging 3.0 guides radiologists out of their reading rooms and encourages them to interact directly with referring physicians and patients as consultants in care. "Imaging 3.0 proposes earthquake-level changes in the day-to-day activities of the average radiologist in private practice," says David F. Hayes, MD, consulting senior associate at Windsong Radiology Group in Williamsville, N.Y., who has authored an e-book on the business of medicine and written multiple journal articles on the subject. "But as difficult as those changes are, Imaging 3.0 is the only way radiologists can save their deteriorating business and add value to the health care system."

While Imaging 3.0 is designed to help radiologists thrive in the new health care paradigm, many radiology groups have been reluctant to adopt its principles. One reason is that reimbursements currently cover only imaging exams, not the time radiologists spend in consultation with referring physicians and patients. Another reason is that some radiologists simply don't want to change the way they practice. "For generations, radiologists have been trained to sit in our reading rooms and interpret images," explains Howard B. Fleishon, MD, MMM, FACR, chief of medicine at John C. Lincoln North Mountain Department of Radiology in Phoenix. "To adapt to a more outcomes-based or patient-centered environment, we really need cultural changes within our practice."

“Group members must evolve from individual professionals who see themselves as equal partners to defined management teams that make decisions for the group.” — Dieter R. Enzmann, MD

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