ACR Bulletin

Covering topics relevant to the practice of radiology

Dispatches February 2024

Meet the ACR's next CEO, celebrate the life of Bruce J. Hillman, MD, FACR, register for the PP&TS virtual meetings and more.
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Virtual meetings focused on the ACR Practice Parameters and Technical Standards (PP&TS) will be held March 12 and 14.

February 01, 2024

This wrap-up features articles and links on several topics, including:

  • Dana Smetherman to Take the Reins as ACR’s New CEO
  • Celebrating the Life of Bruce J. Hillman, MD, FACR
  • It’s Time to Nominate Your Colleagues for ACR Awards
  • 2023 MIPS Submission Window Now Open
  • Hillman Fellowship Application Window is Now Open
  • Sign Up for the Virtual Meetings for Practice Parameters & Technical Standards
  • Former ACR President Proposes Potential Solution to Workforce Shortage 
  • Radiology Representation to the RUC Changes Will Take Place March 1st

Dana H. Smetherman, MD, MPH, MBA, FACR
Dana H. Smetherman,

Dana Smetherman to Take the Reins as ACR’s New CEO

Dana H. Smetherman, MD, MPH, MBA, FACR, will be the new CEO of the ACR, effective July 1, and will be the first woman to serve in the position. As a longtime thought leader within the College, she is the current treasurer, a member of the BOC and past chair of the ACR Commission on Breast Imaging. Smetherman is a diagnostic radiologist specializing in breast imaging. She is the first woman to chair the radiology department and serve as associate medical director for medical specialties at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans.

Smetherman succeeds radiology luminary William T. Thorwarth Jr., MD, FACR, who will retire June 30 after more than a decade of service. “Doctor Smetherman has always worked to ensure all patients have access to the highest-quality radiologic care,” Thorwarth says. “I know she will continue to provide outstanding leadership for the ACR on behalf of radiology professionals and those we serve.”

A longtime champion of timely mammography screening and follow-up care, Smetherman is committed to improving the patient experience through the lens of health equity and fair access to medical services.

“I am truly honored to have been chosen to lead this strong organization as we embrace the future and enter the next century,” Smetherman says. “I look forward to working together with ACR members, volunteers and staff as we continue to build bridges of understanding with policymakers and patients to give our members the resources and the voice needed to advance our specialty and thrive in this new era of healthcare.”

Smetherman’s other roles throughout a groundbreaking career have included serving as president of the Radiological Society of Louisiana and as a board member for the American College of Surgeons’ National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. She has been an American Roentgen Ray Society advisor and an alternative advisor to the AMA’s Current Procedural Terminology® (CPT®) Panel. Smetherman received her undergraduate degree from Harvard College and her medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine.

Celebrating the Life of Bruce J. Hillman, MD, FACR

Bruce J. Hillman, MD, FACR
Bruce J. Hillman, MD, FACR

Bruce J. Hillman, MD, FACR, passed away in December 2023 at age 75. Hillman was born and raised in Miami Beach and graduated from Princeton University in 1965 and the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1973. He received his radiology training at Harvard Medical School’s Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.

Hillman spent his 45-year career in academic medicine serving patients, institutions and colleagues to the best of his abilities. He was a former ACR and RSNA Gold Medal recipient, the founding editor-in-chief of the JACR from 2003 to 2018, and the chief medical officer of the ACR Image Metrix. 

Hillman was beloved by his colleagues and will be dearly missed. Look for more on his life and legacy in the April online issue of the ACR Bulletin.

It’s Time to Nominate Your Colleagues for ACR Awards

The nomination period for the following ACR awards and fellowships is open:

  • The ACR Gold Medal is awarded by the BOC to an individual for extraordinary service to the ACR or to the discipline of radiology in teaching, basic research, clinical investigation or radiologic leadership.
  • ACR Honorary Fellows are elected by the BOC in recognition of outstanding contributions to the science or practice of radiology by individuals who — by virtue of residence, education, profession or lack of board certification — are ineligible for admission as members in any category other than international.
  • The Distinguished Achievement Award is granted by the BOC in recognition of highly notable service to the College and the profession, or in recognition of other action or achievement that reflects in a uniquely favorable manner on the College and the profession at the national level.

Learn more about eligibility criteria and submit your nominations today. The nomination deadline is July 1 for the 2025 awards. 

2023 MIPS Submission Window Is Now Open

The 2023 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) submission window is now open. Users of the ACR Qualified Clinical Data Registry must finalize payment for the National Radiology Data Registry and MIPS reporting fees before submitting to the CMS. The deadline for submissions is March 31. Contact Zach Smith, ACR Senior Quality Programs Specialist, with any questions about 2023 or 2024 MIPS participation.

Hillman Fellowship Application Window Is Now Open

Applications for the Bruce J. Hillman, MD, Fellowship in Scholarly Publishing are now open. This fellowship focuses on medical editing, journalism and publishing, supporting talented physicians who are pursuing an aspect of medical journalism to make a part of their careers. This fellowship allows an up-close look at how the JACR works behind the scenes, with the fellow working with the editor-in-chief and completing a journal-focused project. The fellowship also includes a one-year appointment to the editorial board in addition to an invitation to the editorial retreat. 

This is a hands-on experience for the selected fellow to work closely with the JACR editor-in-chief and staff. Additionally, the fellow will travel to New York City to meet the JACR’s publisher, Elsevier.

Apply now.

Sign Up for the Virtual Meetings for Practice Parameters & Technical Standards

Virtual meetings focused on the ACR Practice Parameters and Technical Standards (PP&TS) will be held March 12 and 14. These meeting allows all members to participate in open hearings on documents that will be considered during ACR 2024 in Washington, DC. 

These meetings are the result of a new process approved by ACR Council in 2022. Daniel A. Rodgers, MD, a member of the PP&TS workgroup and a member of the ACR Council Steering Committee explains why this is significant: “Making the open hearings virtual is going to allow more members to participate — including people who may not be able to go to Washington, D.C., for the annual meeting and members who are not councilors but still want to comment on the PP&TS documents. These changes will open the process to more members and more direct participation, which I think is always great.”

Registration is open through Feb. 29. Learn more.

Register for the ACR 2024 Annual Meeting, which takes place April 13-17. 

Former ACR President Proposes Potential Solution to Workforce Shortage 

The radiologist work shortage was a big topic at December’s RSNA 2023 conference in Chicago. With medical facilities struggling to fill these positions, Howard B. Fleishon, MD, former ACR president, discusses a potential solution in an opinion piece published in the JACR. Titled “Radiology Workforce Shortage: The ‘Silver Squad’ Option,” the article urges older radiologists to come out of retirement and return to the workforce. 

Fleishon points out that radiology doesn’t have a mandatory retirement age and asserts that many older radiologists can still add value to a care team. He encourages ACR members and others in the specialty to promote the solution by citing examples of successful integration of retired radiologists into practices. He also says organizations should provide resources in career centers to help these doctors find their role, even if it is part-time. 

Read the whole piece here

Changes in Radiology Representation to the RUC Take Effect March 1

The AMA/Relative Value Scale Update committee (AMA/RUC) is a multispecialty committee focused on making relative value recommendations to CMS for new and revised codes. RUC Advisors representing their specialties bring forth time and value recommendations to a panel of roughly 30 medical professionals.

On March 1, 2024, the following changes to the representation of radiology at the RUC will take place:

  • Gregory N. Nicola, MD, FACR, will replace William Donovan, MD, MPH, FACR, as the Radiology RUC Member on the RUC Panel.
  • Lauren Parks Nicola, MD, FACR, will replace Kurt Schoppe, MD, as the Alternate Radiology Member on the RUC Panel.
  • Andrew K. Moriarity, MD, will replace Lauren Nicola as the ACR Radiology RUC Advisor.
  • Michael T. Booker, MD, MBA, will replace Moriarity as the ACR Alternate RUC Advisor.

For more information, visit the ACR website.

Author Alexander Utano  editorial assistant, ACR Press