Recap: ACR 2016 in review

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The American College of Radiology (ACR) concluded its 2016 annual convention last week in Washington, DC. For better or for worse, this year’s event left many attendees with more questions than answers, including: 

How will Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) be implemented?

How will cognitive computing change the role of radiologists?

Where is the value in ‘value based system’ for radiologists? 

These were just some of the challenges unearthed through ACR sessions and speakers, all of which can really boil down to one simple question: ‘How does the future look for radiologists, and when does it start?’

MACRA and MIPS: How to stay afloat
The most immediate of the concerns voiced during ACR was how MACRA and MIPS will affect the current state of payments and technology for most radiology practices.  Much like ICD-10, preparing for the onslaught of changes can be mitigated with the implementation of different technologies to measure value-based care.  With the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) mandates quickly approaching over the next three years, there is a sense of urgency for radiologists to leverage better technology to manage their workflow and become more patient-centric, a topic also covered heavily over the three day conference.

Cognitive Computing: It’s time to think “big picture”
Another area of interest during the collaborative event was the talk around cognitive computing. Keynote speaker, Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel mentioned this topic as a focal point for the future of imaging.  This “big picture” way of thinking energized the radiologist attendees, with many expressing their personal interest and/or organization’s involvement in cognitive application development.  Merge had quite a lot to contribute in this arena with parent company, IBM, showcasing its work-in-progress cognitive computing solutions, some of which are preparing to launch in 2016.

With the immediate future of radiology top of mind given new regulations and updates, the overall consensus at ACR was that radiologists are going to become more proactive to remain competitive and relevant. Radiologists can achieve this by considering top of line solutions that will transform the way they deliver care. 

Originally posted on: 5/26/2016 9:55:22 AM

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