Radiology in 2015

2015 in radiology

In the spirit of the New Year, we checked out Diagnostic Imaging's predictions for 2015. We thought their guesses were quite spot on, check them out below:

Lung Cancer Low Dose CT

  • Resolution of details of LDCT coverage between CMS and payers, for example upper end of age limit (CMS says 74, USPSTF says 80).
  • ACR will work to ensure implementation of a high quality LDCT program and that service is reimbursed at a level that will optimize access for patients

Imaging 3.0

  • Continue to guide radiologists through a time of transition in health care and inform patients, other health care providers, payers and policy makers about the value that radiologists deliver
  •  More non-radiology stakeholders (patients, hospital administrators, health systems) will expect radiologists to provide non-interpretive services

Decision Support

  • The Medicare Demonstration project yielded fairly tepid support for the notion that decision support help referring clinicians order more appropriate imaging procedures, with the 2017 start date for required radiology order entry decision support, 2015-2016 may produce some new studies to measure the impact
  • The ascendancy of imaging informatics: A big part of radiology’s foreseeable future will be about software, not hardware. Across the board – business analytics, visualization, reporting, decision support, imaging sharing – informatics will be key to achieving value, improving quality and advancing our patients’ interests.


  • Continued cuts in radiology reimbursement, but rate of change will slow in the short term. Practices should use that relative reprieve as an opportunity to focus on how they will be compensated under emerging payment models.
  • Declining reimbursement will result in an inappropriate emphasis on productivity, more significant turf battles, and a growing tendency to commoditize the specialty.
  • Radiology advocacy will play an extremely important role in combating harsh cuts to reimbursement.


  • Decreased interest in dose reduction. The topic, which has been popular for the last several years, may have run its course. Radiologists are more interested in diagnostic quality rather than dose reduction.
  • Radiologists will push for 3D mammography and dual energy CT techniques, despite the larger radiation doses.

Training and Jobs:

  • The first crop of board-eligible radiology fellows will venture into the working world. It will be interesting to see how the new graduates, payors and practices adapt to the change, whether new hires will be given adequate time to prepare for the second part of their examination and how practices will adapt if the new hire doesn’t pass the exam.
  • Anecdotally, it seems that the job market is picking up. This provides an opportunity for those who accepted less-than-ideal jobs to seek new employment. Because these hires will already be board-certified, it will be interesting to see if there is a lot of turnover of this particular group.
  • The number of applicants for radiology residency is down again this year, which may mean that programs need to start considering cutting down on their class sizes.

Seen here: What Will Radiology Look Like in 2015?