The bi-monthly journal continues to be rated the most valuable AHRA product, program, or service among members. It is peer reviewed by AHRA’s Editorial Review Board. A total of 65 articles were published between July 2017 and June 2018. And 9% of members and subscribers opt out of print to receive the digital edition only.
In January 2018, the digital edition was upgraded to a mobile-friendly view. A Radiology Management app was also launched in the Apple, Google, and Amazon app stores, allowing subscribers to access all digital editions on their smart devices.
A special article was published in the May/June 2018 issue for the journal’s 40th anniversary, reflecting back on the very first issue of Radiology Management.
AHRA’s online newsletter averages 2,964 visits and 6,032 page views a month. A total of 125 articles were published between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. The top post from the past year is “The Final 2018 MPFS: What Radiology Providers Need to Know.”
The success of this textbook series continues. Development of subsequent editions is ongoing:
- Financial Management in Radiology, 2E
- Communication & Information Management in Radiology, 2E
- Human Resource Management in Radiology, 2E
- Asset Management in Radiology, 2E
- Operations Management in Radiology
Each book has a coordinating free exam in the Online Institute that has been approved for ARRT Category A CE credit.
The role of the AHRA Regulatory Affairs Committee is to help our members understand, navigate and implement new or changing regulations that affect our industry and specifically, the medical imaging community. Consistent with the goals of AHRA’s Strategic Plan, through participation and interaction with a variety of influential national organizations and alliances, we endeavor to expand awareness of AHRA’s presence and participation within the healthcare space as an important and influential industry leader. The committee works to educate government entities on how regulations may impact members, their facilities and their patients and submits comments during structured, public comment periods.
Arguably, the most challenging regulatory issue AHRA members continue to face is responding to and complying with the CMS Appropriate Use Criteria program (AUC) which includes a mandate that ordering providers consult AUC via an electronic Clinical Decision Support Mechanism when ordering outpatient advanced imaging exams for Medicare patients. Other regulatory issues of concern include determining how to address reductions in payment for X-RAY and/or CR use in accordance with the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, as well as addressing site neutral payments which can create hardships for hospitals trying to provide more services, integrate care and stay competitive.
In February, 2018, the Committee brought together outside stakeholder groups with an interest or authority over how information will be generated by the Clinical Decision Support Mechanisms (CDSM), coded and transmitted through the imaging operational system (i.e., ordering professional to imaging department to radiologist), and the placement of the CDSM code on the Medicare claim (both technical and professional).
Committee Chair, Sheila Sferrella, facilitated this historic gathering and said, “AHRA was pleased to bring this diverse group of stakeholders together for this important conversation. As we were looking at the various comments submitted in response to the initial CMS proposed Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) guidelines for implementing the AUC policy, it became quite clear that each of the various stakeholders was developing ideas and proposals that met their unique needs, but these often conflicted with the needs of other downstream stakeholders.”
The Regulatory Affairs Committee keeps members up-to-date on important issues through the Advocacy section of the AHRA website, conference presentations, webinars, emails, and articles. They also continue to work and collaborate on a regular basis with the ACR and RBMA.
The Virtual CRA Exam Workshop is delivered via a series of pre-recorded webinars by seasoned presenters. It covers each domain, or subject area, in the exam: Fiscal Management, Human Resource Management, Operations Management, Asset Management, and Test Taking Tips and Communication & Information Management. As of July 2018, there have been 180 course participants.
The Virtual Basic Management Skills course brings our popular Basic Management track from our in-person conferences to anyone, anywhere, any time. The 13 pre-recorded presentations are delivered by seasoned presenters, covering important managerial areas such as budgeting, communication, marketing, patient satisfaction, and more. As of July 2018, there have been 95 course participants.
The Online Institute contains dozens of courses updated on a regular basis, including archived webinars and conference sessions. The most accessed are:
24 FREE exams based on the most recent Radiology Management articles. Between July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018, a total of 13,730 exams were taken.
118 FREE exams based on chapters from the AHRA Professional Development Series. Between July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018, a total of 1,392 exams were taken.
This program evaluates and grants ARRT Category A CE credit to qualified education tools.
Number of submissions between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018: 1,270
There were an additional 362 reviews for AHRA and Institutional Providers.
MICI is a quarterly index calculated based on the input of US hospital imaging directors and managers who complete the same online survey about their perceptions of macro trends in medical imaging (cost, revenue, operation). Data has been tracked since 2011.
AHRA’s popular online discussion group that provides real time dialogue among imaging professionals. From July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018 there was 1,439 threads; 17,403 messages; 245,473 page views. Special communities for executive leadership, regulatory affairs, aspiring CRAs, and members who served in the military have been created throughout the year and the addition of the volunteer module for improved member engagement and recognition was incorporated in August 2017 .
The AHRA Career Center was launched in April 2017. As part of the National Healthcare Career Network (NHCN), the AHRA Career Center joins members with an extensive network of jobs and candidates from hundreds of healthcare organizations and job boards. The National Healthcare Career Network’s (NHCN) career resources include services for resume writing, career coaching, and reference checking.
In 2017, we switched vendors for our Medical Imaging Marketplace, resulting in a fresh, new, easy-to-use interface.