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New Era Known as Accountable Care

Imaging as being required to maintain a defining role in patient care and quality

With the constant changes in healthcare and the powerful drivers that exist in order to improve it, there is always something better around the corner. Delivery of services is changing, especially in the ever evolving field of diagnostic imaging. Technology is evolving; modalities such as the CT scanner and MRI scanner are turning into hybrids and improving on everything from radiation dosage to actual technology methods employed. There are also new words in the healthcare field such as accountable care and such words imply changes in the way that services are paid as well as the way services flow in general.

So does accountable care mean something bad for diagnostic imaging? No, accountable care is not something bad, at least not from certain expressions. One of the big considerations right now is the reimbursement issue. According to an article on accountable care “Reimbursement is morphing from fee-for-service to population-based managed care models and risk-based bundled payments. It’s crucial that medical imaging maintain a defining role in improving patient care quality and outcomes.” A key statement is the role of imaging as being required to maintain a defining role in patient care and quality.

Patient care is the key concern and as quality continues to improve, in order to set a standard, so too does the quality of patient care. It’s understandable that this is the key issue to consider but it’s not just something that should be discussed, it’s a key to success for everyone in the field.

Patient care quality in imaging is the very justification for expanding practices and creating centers. The whole purpose behind the technology and equipment is simply that, patient care of the best kind.

Quality should not simply refer to patient care, but the way a service is delivered also. While a patient may get the best care, or have some access to it, there is no quality assurance without a few key elements such as:

  • Flow of information
  • Good Scheduling
  • Proper workflow
  • Strong communication between staff members

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The word accountability is speaking to those factors among others, because it’s giving a lot of the control, in some regards, to the providers. It’s fair to assume that this will receive a lot of combative rhetoric from companies that want to either control or regulate costs from a benefit allocation point of view. Diagnostic imaging is standing on the verge of a breakthrough from beyond a technology reach.

Accountable care is beneficial to the patient because, as stated in an article by “What’s different about accountable care is that it’s patient-centric, and it’s focused on cost accountability, performance metrics, and utilization management,” meaning that the patient is first, everything else is secondary and has a specific order.

The future will see the implementation of this particular form of care but not without some resistance.

If you have any questions about diagnostic imaging equipment please feel free to give us a call. We here at Amber Diagnostics look forward to answering any questions you may have.

Bobby Serros




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