Feature | July 09, 2008| Cristen Bolan

Cardiologists, Payers Set Out on Imaging Track

Cardiology fellows are expanding their knowledge in cardiovascular imaging. Not only do virtually all cardiology fellows get Level 2 training in echocardiography and many in nuclear cardiology but now, an increasing number of fellows are training in cardiac MR and cardiac CT.

For those cardiologists who did not receive such training, continuing medical education (CME) offerings and preceptorships enable them to acquire new skills in cardiac MR and cardiac CT.

Facilitating the imaging training paradigm is the development of a set of appropriateness criteria. Recently, the following cardiology societies, ACCF, ASE, ACEP, AHA, ASNC, SCAI, SCCT, SCMR, jointly issued the 2008 appropriateness criteria for stress echocardiography. Now, updates on criteria for cardiac CT and MR are underway.

Of course, one of the key objectives is to improve patient outcome. In the article, “Are Cardiologists the QB’s of Cardiac Imaging?,” appearing in this issue, appropriateness criteria is designed to, for example, prevent a coronary CT scan for a patient with an unstable coronary syndrome or a patient who has high creatinine or renal insufficiency. Mark A. Turco, M.D., points out in the article that these guidelines are critical to ensure the best information is provided to the physicians for making the best treatment decisions.

But is it all about the patients? You don’t need to look too far before you see the other driving force behind such an initiative – the payers. With pay-for-performance these guidelines will not only educate cardiologists but should also guide the third-party payers in making reimbursement decisions. In light of the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) and sweeping reimbursement cuts enacted to meet arbitrary budget targets, let’s just hope that the payers get their imaging education too, before patients and the decisions doctors make to care for them represent little more than dollar signs.

Related Content

3-D-printed Model of Stenotic Intracranial Artery Enables Vessel-Wall MRI Standardization
News | 3-D Printing| April 18, 2017
A collaboration between stroke neurologists at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and bioengineers at the...

Physicians will need to use a CMS-certified appropriate use criteria (AUC) clinical decision support software that documents the appropriateness of an imaging order to receive full reimbursement for Medicare patients starting Jan. 1, 2018.

Feature | Cardiac Imaging| April 18, 2017 | Dave Fornell
As part of U.S. healthcare reform efforts, starting Jan.
University of California Study Searches for Consistent CT Dose Best Practices
News | Radiation Dose Management| April 17, 2017
A new study led by UC San Francisco has found that radiation doses can be safely and effectively reduced – and more...
cardiac CT showing a severe right coronary artery lesion on a Toshiba Aquillion One

A cardiac CT showing a severe right coronary artery lesion on both 3-D and curved multiplanar reconstructions from a Toshiba Aquilion One CT system. The newest generation of CT scanners have very fast gantry speeds to freeze cardiac motion, improved image quality and much lower doses than previous generation scanners from a decade ago.

Feature | CT Angiography (CTA)| April 13, 2017 | Dave Fornell
Cardiac computed tomography (CT) imaging really took off a decade ago with the introduction of 64-slice scanners, whi
Toshiba Medical Launches Aquilion Lightning CT System
News | Computed Tomography (CT)| April 12, 2017
April 12, 2017 — Providers can now offer enhanced care and safe imaging to patients with a compact and economical sol
FDA Clears Siemens Somatom go. CT platform
Technology | Computed Tomography (CT)| April 11, 2017
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the Somatom go. computed tomography (CT) platform from Siemens...
SCCT, Toshiba Medical, partnership, residents-in-training
News | Computed Tomography (CT)| April 05, 2017
The Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) and Toshiba Medical announced a new partnership dedicated to...
Toshiba, Aquilion One CT, model-based iterative reconstruction, MBIR, ACC 2017, FIRST, RSNA 2017
News | Computed Tomography (CT)| March 21, 2017
March 21, 2017 — Toshiba Medical demonstrated its Forward projected model-based Iterative Reconstruction SoluTion (FI
RESOLVE study, RESOLVE trial, subclinical leaflet thrombosis

A CT study from the RESOLVE Trial showing valve leaflet thrombosis on a TAVR device. The trial examined a range of surgical and transcatheter valves to show thrombosis is found across both types of devices. It also examined if anticoagulation or antiplatelet therapy could reduce thrombosis and allow a greater range of leaflet motion.

Feature | Heart Valve Technology| March 21, 2017
March 21, 2017 — About 12 percent of patients undergoing aortic valve replacement developed non-symptomatic blood clo
Siemens Healthineers, ACC 2017, syngot CTO Guidance, Compressed Sensing Cardiac Cine
News | Cardiac Imaging| March 16, 2017
During the 66th Annual Scientific Session & Expo of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), March 17-19 in...
Overlay Init