Earlier this month the ACR presented five Current Procedural Terminology codes for valuation at the meeting of the American Medical Association/Speciality Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee. The AMA revised its CPT codes for 2022; four codes for imaging were deleted and two new codes added. Radiology practices will need to review their systems to ensure non-use of the deleted codes in the future that could result in payment delays and denials.
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers will launch a trial to determine the root cause of long-term COVID symptoms by having participants who previously tested positive for COVID-19 undergo PET-MRI brain scans. Trial participants will undergo a battery of tests, which includes a 1.5-hour PET-MRI brain scan, to monitor neuroinflammation and to establish if this is linked to difficulties in concentrating.
Research published in European Journal of Hybrid Imaging found that rapid amyloid PET imaging appeared non-inferior to standard F-18 FDG scans to detect glucose hypometabolism in patients with Alzheimer's disease, suggesting that early-frame amyloid scans could be used to replace F-18 FDG scans to measure cerebral glucose metabolism. This may lower costs and reduce patients' radiation exposure, but further studies should be conducted to determine early-frame imaging's value as a marker in establishing brain metabolic decline.
Physicians use of retroillumination through retromode imaging, hyperspectral imaging, fluorescence lifetime imaging ophthalmoscopy is being used to identify Alzheimer's disease patients' retinal changes. "We are in the midst of a golden era of retinal imaging and can expect dramatic advancements that will completely transform ophthalmology over the next few years," said Dr. SriniVas Sadda during his presentation at the Retina 2022 conference.
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COVID-19 case numbers appear to be heading in the right direction, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who said he expects Omicron cases to have peaked in most states by mid-February. Nationwide COVID-19 cases for the past seven days are down 12% from the previous week, but average COVID-19 deaths have reached 2,200 per day, up 11% from the prior week and the highest in 11 months.
Findings reported in the journal Pediatric Neurology found that headaches and other persisting neurological symptoms, such as acute encephalopathy, can affect over 40% of children hospitalized for COVID-19. The study also found that out of 1,493 cases from pediatric critical care centers worldwide, 215 kids had multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children while 86% had acute COVID-19, with neurological symptoms more prevalent among pediatric patients with MIS-C.
A survey of more than 13,000 US physicians from 29 areas of specialty indicated that many are dealing with high levels of stress and feelings of burnout. Overall, 47% of physicians said they were affected by burnout over the last year, compared to 42% a year ago.
A coalition of 19 Senate Democrats wrote a letter to CMS and HHS leaders calling for Medicare to cover the cost of home COVID-19 tests for older people and those with disabilities, just as commercial health insurers are doing for their members. The lawmakers argued that those "enrolled in Medicare are at the highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 ... and the current policy leaves them on the hook for potentially significant out-of-pocket costs."
The UCLA Center for SMART Health and Hearst Health are refocusing the $100,000 prize Hearst Health Prize on data science, artificial intelligence and other digital health technologies that improve patient outcomes. The award "provides a national platform to showcase how data science is making a difference in the lives of patients," Hearst Health President Gregory Dorn said in a news release.
Yale New Haven Health and New England Donor Services have developed a nonproprietary, scalable EHR function for sending organ donation referrals that reduced the average length of initial referral phone calls by more than 60% in pilot tests. Messages are compliant with the Health Level Seven International information exchange protocol, and Beth Israel Lahey Health and Cambridge Health Alliance have already adopted the tool.
Excellent leaders recognize the value of wellness within the workplace and have started related initiatives to help colleagues, highlighted in a new series of case studies. Each case study includes suggested activities for leaders to help create a culture of well-being at their practice or in their department. Read case studies and submit your own case study idea.