Imaging Oversight Committee Works Toward Common Goals
Automated Reimbursement Program Is Web Based

Imaging Oversight Committee Works Toward Common Goals

Jim Rawson, MD, chair of radiology in the school of medicine at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG), Augusta, saw an opportunity during his 2004 recruitment. Rawson is chief of radiology services at MCG Health System, where diagnostic, therapeutic, and interventional radiology are all housed in one department. As with most radiologists in leadership positions across the country, Rawson found himself in a complicated situation. He had to balance the needs of his department, the hospital, the school, and his practice group—and he had to serve each well.

What could have been a perilous situation fraught with interdepartmental turf issues, however, has been significantly ameliorated by the establishment of an Imaging Oversight Committee (IOC), which Rawson chairs. “Imaging is a vital part of health care,” Rawson said, “but because it resides in so many departments, there’s often no single point of coordination.” Not so at MCG Health, where the IOC brings together a strong team, including:

  • the chair of radiology;
  • the technical director of radiology;
  • the chief of medical physics;
  • physicians from multiple departments with a vested interest in imaging;
  • the chief of cardiology;
  • the director of emergency ultrasound;
  • the health system’s chief medical officer, chief financial officer, and chief information officer;
  • the physician practice plan’s chief operating officer;
  • the vice president for clinical serv-ices; and
  • the vice president for purchasing.

“We have a group of people who see the many facets of imaging,” Rawson explained. “They look at return on investment, the initial cost, whatever capital or financing options, and then look at the downstream once the system is put in place—how the images will be stored, how they’ll move through the health system, and what type of billing and reporting process will be there.”

According to Rawson, the group was easy to form and has been very productive. “What we found is that the group has far more in common than [not],” he said. “The hospital, the school, and the practice plan were ecstatic to have one place to put imaging issues. And more often than not, we find people trying to expand the scope of the discussion.”

In addition to streamlining purchasing, the IOC has, in its 2 years, institutionalized departmental policies on issues like MRI safety, pushed for hospital-wide radiation safety education, and evaluated a picture archiving and communications (PACS) solution replacement plan. “We try to address an institutional set of needs,” Rawson said.

He also noted that the IOC provides a multitude of intangible benefits. “It has allowed our physicians to work together to strengthen each other’s practices. There is a lot that cardiologists, radiologists, and emergency department doctors can teach each other. You have some of the barriers that often exist between departments being broken down. Rather than having imaging services be adversarial, you watch out for problems that someone else has encountered, and you are able to take advantage of each other’s strengths.”

Rawson gave a lecture on IOCs at the 2006 American College of Radiology Annual Meeting and Chapter Leadership Conference in May, and, he said, “I received a lot of positive feedback from people. They thought it made so much sense. Most of them had just never thought of it.”

And with all the impending changes to the imaging field, there is no time like the present. “We couldn’t have predicted the DRA [Deficit Reduction Act of 2005] or many of the other changes that have occurred,” Rawson said. “Having a group in place to look at the health care environment and the evolving role of imaging has been invaluable. Since we can’t always predict the future, at least we can be prepared to adapt.”

—C. Vasko

Automated Reimbursement Program Is Web Based

MDeverywhere, Hauppauge, NY, has introduced Dashboard, a Web-based window into the company’s automated physician reimbursement program, called Total Solution. Users are immediately made aware of and can correct missing claim information that could result in reimbursement delays and denials. The program provides users with a transparent view into all of their practice’s data, offering an enhanced level of control over finances. Exceptions are automatically prioritized, allowing complete claims to be submitted in a more timely fashion for quicker reimbursement.

Users code an encounter in EveryCharge, and it is then imported into Console, an in-house document imaging and workflow technology. A rule engine runs a check for any coding errors. If any are found, Console creates an exceptions report for claims that are missing information required by the carrier. Those exceptions are sent to the client through and can be resolved in Dashboard, eliminating the need for faxing and e-mails. The solution further eliminates the need for paper by making all batches available electronically, including payments and correspondence. By using a single sign-on, users can access all of their practice’s data and immediately act on any pending items.

For more information, call (866) 340-5500, visit, or e-mail .