No one can argue that the healthcare landscape is continually changing. The House just voted to significantly change the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In the coming days, we can settle in for the long and painstaking process to determine exactly what this means. Whether a consumer, healthcare professional or one of thousands of other touchpoints along the healthcare continuum, the one thing we can look forward to is continued and rapid change.
Throughout all of this, many of those in imaging have quietly kept their heads down, focused on their jobs and tried to provide the best possible service and quality they could. While keeping a low profile, there are some important things that imaging professionals and practices may have avoided.
Hear this: now is the time to look up, take notice and prepare for the new healthcare environment in which we will be required to operate.
Here are a few of those key things that imaging professionals should put on the priority list:
Imaging providers have a great opportunity to evaluate how we image and ensure we are doing the right test the first time. I think as we learn more and technology changes, the industry will be forced to reconsider long-held beliefs. For example, what’s the best screening method for breast cancer? Mammography, right? But we can’t even get our guidelines straight. And with so many women with dense breasts, why are we not pushing more aggressively for automated 3D ultrasound screening? Another great example is the use of dual energy X-ray technology, which has now been introduced in CT. If we can get the right answer with one test, why do two? This is real value, and imaging professionals have a chance to lead the value-based care initiative through the implementation of new technology.
It is certain that no one has a crystal ball and what lies ahead can change drastically and swiftly. I’d enjoy hearing what you think imaging and radiology professionals should keep top-of-mind in the coming days. Reply in the comments below.
To learn more about what’s ahead for imaging, hear what Stuart Clark from The Advisory Board Company shared in State of the Union: Healthcare Reform Beyond the ACA, a recent Cassling Investing in You Webinar.