Opportunity in Times of Change – Subspecialty Access

May 5, 2014

“Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat”

–   Unknown

Radiologists are no strangers to change. They’ve watched their practices’ reimbursements diminish and payment options multiply beyond their control – and are searching for ways to regain a degree of normality.

In order to succeed in today’s market and reclaim that sense of stabilization, radiologists have to take change in stride by actively participating in and recreating the innovation seen in other industries.

The first step in doing so is to identify the largest pain points for your practice. One predominant problem we’ve seen for radiologists is increasing access to subspecialists. Radiology has become a highly-specialized field; and it seems to be getting even more granular each year.

So, how does a practice with shrinking reimbursements retain a full staff of subspecialists to meet the needs of value-based medicine? The average independent practice alone, simply cannot.

This is where we’ve seen some real innovation among visionary practices who have come together with other radiology groups previously viewed as competitors to collaborate and share resources to the benefit of all. This type of collaboration was not likely a few years ago but today many barriers have been eliminated as many groups are becoming increasingly open minded in finding solutions to better position themselves to serve their community.

By partnering, these practices are able to share clinical talent to better fill the subspecialty gaps in a cost effective manner. In the process, they are better equipped to meet the growing demands of the hospitals being served seeking to expand services throughout the community.

Additional benefits of such a collaboration are numerous and evolving.

Lowered Utilization

Radiologists who do not specialize are more likely to order additional tests, driving costs skyward. By sharing resources with other practices you cut back on unnecessary costs.

Reduced Errors

The error rate for radiology is between 4 and 9 percent. Skimping on resources can leave less than qualified radiologists making decisions and compromising patient safety. By accessing subspecialists through other radiology groups, those error rates will go down, while practice throughput goes up.

A Path to the Future

Collaboration is the way of the future; sharing resources and experts is an innovative way to satiate the needs of each practice, while empowering radiologists to regain control.

We believe enhanced and efficient access to sub-specialists is paramount to a health system’s ability to differentiate itself and compete more effectively in its chosen market. A radiology group providing effective competitive differentiation for its health system will bring significant value to that system and the community in which it serves.