Friday, November 27, 2020

PARCA certifications seen as key to career change

Meredith Quinn, newly certified PACS

This month, PARCA eNews highlights its certification program with a profile of Meredith Quinn who recently earned her CPAS Technical, CPAS Clinical and CPSA exams all within a few days. Meredith started as a pharmacy technician and worked for several different pharmacies before changing to medical coding in Kansas City. She then expanded her skills to include coding, compliance and auditing for a number of hospitals. After a brief stint at Cerner she became Medical Coder and Auditor for Adventist Health. While pursuing her interest in nuclear medicine, she came across a PACS administration text book by Herman Oosterwijk and became inspired to pursue a career in PACS administration. Using a self-study approach, she passed her three PACS certifications in a single week. She lives with her husband of 10  years in Kansas City, Missouri. PARCA eNews spoke to her by phone to learn about her experience with PARCA and the certification process.

RSNA 2020 goes virtual for Nov. 29 to Dec. 5 annual meeting

PARCA eNews – Nov. 11, 2020 – RSNA 2020 forges ahead with its annual meeting going online with a virtual meeting venue, and people are getting used to attending such meetings. 

As of this writing, over 16,000 people had registered for sessions being held Nov. 29-Dec.5, 2020. The number of virtual only registrations in 2019 were 2,487.

“We’re very pleased to have this many attendees registered so far in advance of our first-ever entirely virtual event, and we expect registration to continue to grow,” said RSNA president James P. Borgstede, MD in a press release.

Data breaches spike in September led by Blackbaud

PARCA eNews – Nov. The number of breaches and records compromised spiked in September with 95 healthcare breaches reporting 9.7 million medical records reported to the US Department of Health and Human Services breach portal.

The number of healthcare breaches nearly tripled with a fourfold increase in the number of records compromised. 

The massive increase was primarily due to ransomware attacks include a massive attack on Blackbaud, which provides cloud services, financial management and analytics for a large number of non-profit organizations including foundations, universities, hospitals and healthcare organizations.

Training radiologists with AI seen as key to radiology tech leadership

PARCA eNews – Nov. 6, 2020 – A new pathway for radiologists in training has been developed at Brigham & Women’s Hospital that pairs fourth-year radiology students with AI developers to both improve AI and to integrate radiology residents with an AI future in radiology practice.

Recognizing that artificial intelligence and machine learning is here to stay, Brigham and Women’s designed a curricula that combines AI and radiology.

'Fast MRI' detects significantly more breast cancer in women with dense breasts

PARCA eNews – Nov. 3, 2020 – Should women with dense breasts be routinely referred for simplified MRI technique following a negative 3D mammogram? That is the question researchers at Penn Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania are asked following results of a February 2020 JAMA Network study.

That clinical trial compared 3D mammography to abbreviated or fast MRI in 1,444 women with dense breasts. The researchers showed that 3D mammography detected 7 invasive cancers, compared to 17 detected with fast MRI, which was considered a significantly higher rate of cancer detection.

Microsoft makes big bid for Cloud imaging data for healthcare

Microsoft announced a new Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare on Oct. 28. The new offering includes the company’s cloud-based DICOM server that can be used together with Microsoft’s Azure programming interface for fast interoperability.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Declining radiology revenues continue

PARCA  eNews – Oct. 30, 2020 – Reimbursement for radiology services have been declining over the past decade according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. The study analyzed global fees, which encompass both the technical and professional components of reimbursement.

The declining payment trends began with reductions to diagnostic radiology services following the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and affected multiple modalities including bone densitometry, CT, CT angiography, mammography, MR angiography, MRI, nuclear medicine, radiography, and ultrasound.

HHS adopts final HealthIT strategic plan

PARCA eNews – Oct. 30, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published its final 2020-2025 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan (the Plan) Oct. 30, 2020, which includes provisions for supporting patient access to their own health information.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

HHS extends compliance dates for information blocking and Health IT certification requirements

Oct. 29, 2020 – The US Health and Human Services has extended the deadline for compliance with a number of requirements of the 21st Century Cures Act in response to challenges to organizations complying resulting from the pandemic.

Last March ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule established exceptions to the 21st Century Cures Act’s information blocking provision and adopted new health information technology (health IT) certification requirements to enhance patients’ smartphone access to their health information at no cost through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs).

The interim final rule issued Oct. 29, 2020 extends the program compliance dates beyond those identified in the April 21, 2020 as follows: