Several radiology groups, including the ACR, urged the CMS to "immediately" issue 2018-2020 benchmark data on its Merit-Based Incentive Payment System administration and to provide updated information from the current measurement year. "Because the benchmarks have not been published, physicians cannot compare their spending to the target in the current performance period or prior periods, nor can they determine whether the benchmarks are fair and valid, accounting for variations in resource use that are within a physician's control," the group said in a letter to acting CMS Administrator Elizabeth Richter. An ACR update Wednesday notified its members about the request.
Implementing standardized tumor reporting could help radiologists focus more on patient care and ease their workload burden, radiologist Dr. Ritu Gill wrote in Academic Radiology. Gill cited how integrating MD Anderson Cancer Center's web-based Quantitative Imaging Analyses Core platform within its EHR system significantly improved report turnaround times, enhanced transparency and refined radiologists' imaging techniques. Gill added that these systems can "ensure that radiologists continue to be an inherent part of the multidisciplinary teams treating cancer patients."
A study presented at the 2021 virtual annual meeting of the American Roentgen Ray Society detailed steps that radiology departments can take to prevent workplace violence, which health care workers experience at a fivefold higher rate than workers overall. Researchers suggested hospitals conduct risk assessments on a regular basis, utilize visitor management systems, and train security and staff on managing safety risks.
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President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the US achieved his administration's goal of administering 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in his first 100 days as president, adding that his new goal is to reach all Americans who are old enough to be vaccinated. Biden also announced a tax credit program for businesses with fewer than 500 workers that offer vaccine-related paid leave to their employees.
A clinical trial of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine involving 43,783 enrollees from three continents found no COVID-19 hospitalizations or deaths in the treatment group 28 days after vaccination, and the vaccine also offered protection against emerging variants. The findings, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, showed the vaccine was 66% effective against moderate to severe-critical COVID-19 and 85% effective against severe-critical illness 28 days after administration.
The Amputation Reduction and Compassion Act, which was reintroduced by Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., and is supported by radiology proponents, would require health insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, to provide full coverage for patients who utilize interventional radiology services for peripheral artery disease. "With noninvasive screenings, the ARC Act will empower patients to make informed decisions about their peripheral artery disease treatment" and help "avoid amputations and preserve patients' quality of life," said Dr. Matthew Johnson, president of the Society of Interventional Radiology.
National Coordinator for Health IT Micky Tripathi says he is on a quest to educate the health care industry about both the cultural components and technical compliance aspects of new patient data access regulations. "It's about engaging patients in a fundamentally different way, and in a broader way, in a deeper way," Tripathi said.
Long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on health care likely will include having a mix of in-person and virtual care, more home care and monitoring, and increased reliance on cloud-based platforms, experts told the virtual CHIME21 Spring Forum. Cook Children's Health Care System CIO Teresa Meadows said the pandemic will lead to greater consumerization of health care, with a focus on health literacy and care provided outside hospital and office settings.