January 22, 2016

ACRRBMA Practice Leaders Forum Stresses Collaboration

The 2016 ACR-RBMA Practice Leaders Forum emphasized the value of collaboration between radiologists and their practice managers as well as the value generated when radiology group practices initiate team-building initiatives with hospitals and health systems.

The Jan. 15–17 event in Phoenix for the first time combined elements of the annual ACR-RBMA (Radiology Business Management Association) Forum, geared toward imaging business managers, and the American College of Radiology’s Practice Leaders Meeting, which emphasizes business strategies for radiologists.

The change was credited for the record attendance of more than 200 participants. Nearly half were part of leadership teams comprised of a radiologist and practice manager working together to represent the combined clinical and business interests of their individual group practices, noted Keith Chew, MHA, CMPE, a conference lecturer and immediate past president of the RBMA.

A modified presentation format also enhanced the learning experience, he said. The standard question-and-answer periods after lectures were set aside for in-depth breakout sessions that gave attendees 50 minutes to explore with faculty and other attendees the application of the topic in their practice setting.

“This was a chance to attend a meeting that represented a collaboration between two great organizations, the ACR and RBMA”, said Frank J. Lexa, MD, MBA, chief medical officer of the ACR Radiology Leadership Institute. “Radiologists and business managers came to this meeting looking for examples of how to compete and succeed.” 

Many of these ideas were drawn from the ACR’s Imaging 3.0 Initiative and case studies describing innovative ways radiologists have led the way toward more patient-friendly, clinically effective and value-driven medical practices. Attendees learned about Medicare’s growing emphasis on quality-measurement, the Merit-based Payment System (MIPS) and alternative payment models.

In a session on thriving in larger systems through the use of Imaging 3.0, strategic positioning and other tactics, Lexa urged radiologists and their practice managers to align their groups with neighboring health care institutions.

“This means figuring out how to provide more value to your hospital than just interpreting imaging examinations,” he said. “It includes identifying new ways to manage patient care, providing value in population health and helping to strategically position and market medical services.”

John Anastos, DO, described how his group, Integrated Imaging Consultants, orchestrated a collaboration involving more than 100 radiologists to cover the imaging services needs of the 13-hospital Advocate Health System in Chicago and its suburbs. 

“Their work over the past five years has really paid off. They now have a single signatory contract for their collaboration,” Chew said.