December 02, 2016

ACR SIR Tools Help IRs Show Clinical IR Value

The American College of Radiology (ACR) and Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) have created downloadable resources to help local interventional radiologists (IRs) educate hospital executives and radiology group officers on the clinical and economic benefits of starting a full-fledged, in-house IR practice.

“The toolkit helps IRs promote creation of IR practices that provide robust service lines for health systems — rather than solely specific procedures on a case-by-case basis,” said Philip S. Cook, MD, FACR, FSIR, chair of the ACR Commission on Interventional Radiology.

“These resources help IRs explain how clinical IR enables health systems to provide quality care less invasively, and can be an innovative, silo-busting force to benefit patients,” said Charles E. Ray, Jr., MD, PhD, FSIR, president of the Society of Interventional Radiology.

Clinical IR can help health system executives achieve the health care “triple aim.” IR improves clinical outcomes, recovery times and patient satisfaction – key factors in new delivery and payment model reimbursement.

“How patients perceive their hospital experience is going to be largely driven by specialties, such as interventional radiology,” said Ezequiel Silva III, MD, FACR, chair of the ACR Economics Commission.

Clinical IR enables health systems to maximize reimbursement in care models that reward facilities for making and keeping patients well instead of payment based on procedural volumes.

“IR practices are uniquely positioned to generate tremendous savings to hospitals, medical groups and radiology practices as alternative payment models advance,” said Robert Min, MD, radiologist-in-chief at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Available at, the resources discuss the increasingly valuable role interventional oncology serves in cancer treatment, particularly as the federal government’s Cancer Moonshot effort evolves.

“Hospitals not investing in minimally invasive interventional oncology (IO) treatments really need to start gearing up,” said Anne Roberts, MD, FACR, chief of vascular and interventional radiology at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

IRs must tell their powerful story of lower costs, less invasive treatment and quicker recovery times. These are primary aims of ongoing health care reform.

“We provide quality care at a lower cost. That’s really the Holy Grail of modern health care,” said Laura Findeiss, MD, interventional radiologist, chair of radiology at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.