MACRA, MIPS, population health, consumerism – how is one supposed to key up with all the healthcare lingo? And more importantly, how does it actually affect various specialities like radiology? In a recent live webinar event hosted by Ambra Health, Nadim Daher, Industry Principal, Frost & Sullivan, revealed their latest findings regarding enterprise imaging. Throughout the presentation, several poll questions were asked that highlighted forward thinking among audience members regarding value-based care and the cloud.
Which statement best describes your attitude towards value-based reimbursement models?
We know that providers today are getting paid more if they can figure out how to avoid unnecessary medical procedures. In fact, MACRA, Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, contains 22 performance criteria for radiology, which includes interventional radiology and radiation oncology measures that affect both patient facing and non-patient facing radiologists. Particularly, the proposal encourages providers to make DICOM images available to external health care facilities, and encourages searching for DICOM images from those same facilities prior to ordering an imaging exam for a patient. These measures are currently focused on CT scans and will also serve to reduce patient exposure.
All providers will report under MIPS (merit –based incentive payments system) in 2017 with a few small exceptions. During the webinar, 60% of attendees shared that they are still undecided regarding their attitude towards a value-based model vs. a fee-for-service model. However, the other 40% was in full support of replacing fee-for-service models with value-based reimbursement models. Nadim noted that when it comes to value-based care, “the train has already left the station. By 2020, 30% of imaging will be value-based.”
How many of you have cloud initiatives at your facility to solve pain points ?
In light of the move to value-based care and other trends including consolidation of facilities and heightened patient consumerism, many facilities have moved towards the cloud to streamline image management and reduce duplicate imaging. The audience agreed wholeheartedly with 100% of those polled noting that their facility had cloud initiatives.
Nadim discussed how in 2000 when Frost & Sullivan began their initial research into the cloud and healthcare, there were few adopters. In fact, suspicion and fear reigned supreme. By 2008, early adopters began to ask “why cloud” and found that image-enabling EMRs, scalable storage, and remote viewing could be the answers to many of their pain-points. Today, providers ask “why not?” and see the cloud as a solution whose performance is on-par with traditional on-premise hardware. During Frost & Sullivan’s research, they interviewed Jefferson Radiology, a leading provider of radiology services throughout Connecticut. As a quickly growing and highly innovative radiology practice, Jefferson sought to replace their legacy image management solution with a more cost-effective vendor that could grow with them and offer scalable storage opportunities. Today, Jefferson Radiology estimates over 30% in cost savings since switching from their legacy exchange vendor to Ambra and has gone from four separate image management systems to one singular easy to manage solution.
What is your primary method of image sharing?
The majority of respondents shared that they were sharing imaging primarily through the cloud or a mix of some of the above. Sharing imaging across a wide-network can be challenging, frustrating, and dangerous with CDs and VPNs. For example, take Memorial Hermann, the largest health system in Southeast Texas with over 16 hospitals and 200 specialty facilities. With rapid growth across its wide network, and CDs still acting as a core method of image exchange, Memorial Hermann faced challenges surrounding efficiency and risk. Today, with Ambra Health, over 100 external sending sites are connected to its main campus through gateways, for receiving trauma and general referrals from external PACS systems in real-time. Additionally, business continuity for 2.2M studies per year in case of PACS service interruption has now become a reality with Ambra’s cloud VNA. Is your facility now saying “why not?” when it comes to the cloud? What had motivated you to push for a change?