Merge Healthcare is a major provider of enterprise imaging and interoperability solutions, with a client base consisting of more than 1,500 hospitals and 6,000 clinics across the country. Merge solutions facilitate the sharing of images to create a more effective and efficient electronic health care experience for patients and physicians. They provide enterprise imaging solutions for radiology, cardiology, orthopedics, and eye care; a suite of products for clinical trials; software for financial and presurgical management; and applications that fuel the largest modality vendors in the world.

It’s no surprise then that Merge Healthcare recently announced an eBook release of what they call the Meaningful Use Guide for Radiology written specifically for radiologists. The guide was presented for the first time to an audience of more than 500 health care professionals at the Merge Live 2011 Client Conference. It is free and available for PC, iPad, and iPhone formats.

Meaningful Use is a concept that lays the foundation for interconnectivity among health care providers. However, according to Merge, Meaningful Use has not received the same level of attention in application to radiologists and radiology as it has to primary care practices. More than 90% of radiologists are qualified to earn HITECH Act incentives yet risk hundreds of millions of dollars of Medicare payment reductions.

“The challenge radiologists are facing is that they don’t know where to begin and don’t have a definitive resource to assist them through the Meaningful Use process,” said Jeff Surges, chief executive officer of Merge Healthcare. “The Meaningful Use Guide for Radiology, written in partnership with the Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI), provides a step-by-step approach that will help radiologists comply with the new law, achieve Meaningful Use qualification, earn incentive payments, and avoid reimbursement reductions under the HITECH Act.

“With Meaningful Use representing a $1.5 billion opportunity for radiologists, a guide like this becomes an absolute necessity,” said Surges. “I firmly believe this publication will help radiologists capitalize on the opportunities Meaningful Use provides.”

The Meaningful Use Guide for Radiology is written for front office associates, technologists, radiologists, and physician’s association (PA) groups. This free eBook will provide answers to important questions such as: Which radiology health care providers are eligible? What is the required technology? What is the financial opportunity? What is involved with registration and attestation? What should radiologic health care providers expect in coming years? What are the processes and software used to capture and report health information?

What to Expect from the Meaningful Use Guide for Radiology

The third chapter of Meaningful Use Guide for Radiology exemplifies the value of the resource. This chapter describes Meaningful Use in more detail. It explains objectives, thresholds for compliance, what data must be reported, and when objectives do not apply (exclusions). Clinical quality measures (CQM) are also explained. For example, it covers how the rules and incentive payments apply to radiology; the eligibility for incentive payments under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program; the need to track and report on clinic operations using appropriate technology; and changes in clinic workflows.

The Merge eBook resource was written in partnership with CDI. Founded in 1981 by Dr Kenneth Heithoff, CDI was one of the first freestanding, outpatient imaging providers in the country. Heithoff’s passion for quality, cost-effectiveness, and exceptional patient care was contagious and continues to drive CDI’s core principles today. CDI is now a national network of imaging providers offering a full range of diagnostic imaging, pain management, and interventional radiology services.

Each CDI center is dedicated to providing its community with the finest imaging services, provided by a local team of specialized physicians and associates. This ensures patients receive care from a team who works closely with the local health care community, including the referring doctor and insurance company.

At the same time, this team is connected with other CDI physicians and staff across the country via CDI’s sophisticated network, providing the ability to share best practices and consult with other experts on special cases. Being a national provider that’s locally focused helps CDI provide each patient with the best of both worlds: individual care and national resources. CDI’s mission is to improve the lives of those they serve through the highest quality care and diagnostic imaging services.