I recently read an article entitled How to Build the Radiology Department of the Future which discussed ways tomaintain profits and growth in an evolving health care market.  It highlighted the most efficient and profitable ways to find growth and prepare your practice for the future, however it was written from the perspective of an obvious hospital-system based supporter, geared towards the independent radiologist sector, where common ground is hard to come by.

The author comments on several market trends, such as; the employment of radiologists by hospitals, the importance of quality, hospital partnerships, hospital imaging departments as epicenters of care, falling reimbursement and requests for hospital subsidies for the radiology department.  These “trends” seem to directly play on the fearful emotions of independent radiologists and they need to be aware of the true trends and their options.

True Trends:

-       over 50 million uninsured Americans leading to self-pay patient population

-       32% of patients price-shop and hospital-based practices do not have the most affordable options

-       there is little to no price transparency at hospitals and looking for pricing is near to impossible without the appropriate resources

-       there is now a call for transparency and it is coming directly from patients

-       reimbursement is down for everyone, physicians must look to untapped patient populations

-       consumers are ingrained to think that quality is reflective of cost, patients are becoming smarter than this

(watch the video below expressing the variances of pricing in cities throughout the country, the interviewed patients express the need for transparency and they’re not the only ones!)

 

Resorting to teleradiology and impersonalized care is not the answer to decreased revenue and patient volume. Creative marketing efforts, physician integration, seamless billing and collections practices and a self-pay processing plan are the components necessary to overcoming the true trends in the health care industry as it exists now and in the future.

Comment