Carestream LogoIt is time for another issue of Diagnostic Reading. This week we focus on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, quality in radiology, patient and radiologist interactions, new Joint Commission rules, and Medicare’s slow adoption of telemedicine.

1) Supreme Court Upholds Subsidies in 6-3 Vote – Healthcare IT News

“The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday voted 6-3 against the plaintiffs in the case of King v. Burwell. The ruling means more than 6 million residents in the 34 states with federal insurance exchanges can keep their tax subsidies for health coverage.”

2) What Exactly is Quality in Radiology? – AuntMinnie

According to a talk at the recent International Symposium on Multidetector-Row CT (MDCT) in San Francisco, it is import for radiologists to think about what the word “quality” actually means in the context of radiology, and it is imperative that radiologists work to define it. The talk discussed how one of the key factors to creating a culture of quality and safety is making sure that staff members can speak freely when they’re worried about a protocol or a patient care situation.

3) Do Patients Really Value Interaction with Radiologists? – AuntMinnie

Dr. Sam Friedman provides his personal opinion on how he thinks that ACOs and the other “risk” programs are simply clever ways to separate physicians from their pay. He points to the June 2015 issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology, where Cabarrus et al presented the results of a patient survey that found that patients preferred to hear the results of imaging exams from the physician who ordered them.

4) Are Imaging Sites Ready for New Joint Commission Rules? – AuntMinnie

“On July 1, a new era of intense scrutiny and documentation will arrive for CT and other imaging modalities, thanks to new Joint Commission accreditation requirements that become effective on that date. Unfortunately, most radiology departments aren’t remotely ready to fulfill the requirements.”

5) Medicare Slow to Adopt Telemedicine Due to Cost Concerns – Healthcare IT News

“Anthem and a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center health plan in western Pennsylvania are the only two Medicare Advantage insurers offering the virtual visits, and the traditional Medicare program has tightly limited telemedicine payments to certain rural areas. And even there, the beneficiary must already be at a clinic, a rule that often defeats the goal of making care more convenient. Congress has maintained such restrictions out of concern that the service might increase Medicare expenses. The Congressional Budget Office and other analysts have said giving seniors access to doctors online will encourage them to use more services, not replace costly visits to emergency rooms and urgent care centers.”

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