The Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005 is having an impact on imaging centers. A recent Aunt Minnie article entitled The DRA at Six Months: How Outpatient Imaging Centers Are Coping examines the various impacts of DRA on both outpatient imaging centers and hospital radiology group practices.
Some of the interesting impacts are highlighted in the last section of the article. Although many radiology practices are waiting to determine the impacts, many are acting now. In the article, Darlene Zase, executive director of Advanced Radiology Consultants (ARC), states: “We prepared for this. We didn’t wait for it to happen.”
The focus in the “Strategies for Survival” section is how to improve productivity and efficiency. With protecting profitability and streamlining radiology workflows, imaging centers are hiring a “new breed” of radiology administrators.
According to Steve Renard, SR Consulting, “They’re looking for people who can think strategically about how to protect their profits. It’s a different style of manager than I’ve seen before, more entrepreneurial, more tactically minded. These new managers are going to conferences and marketing classes to understand how payor networking works and how effectively the center is billing.”
Information technology (IT) also is at the center of the efficiency effort. IT is being leveraged in ways to streamline radiology workflows to increase productivity or reduce the cycle times, especially in billing.
Strong imaging centers are adapting by thinking more strategically about their practices while acting more tactically in improving operations. They are not waiting; they are taking actions now, in light of DRA, but also as part of an effort to enhance overall management practices.
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