Radiologists are facing growing adversity due to the changing health care landscape in the US. In a talk titled "The future of radiology - What are the threats and how to respond to them", presenters spoke about how, among other things, continued reimbursement cuts, declining procedure volumes, and a declining perception of the profession have changed the way radiologists do business and have left them feeling embattled. For instance, as vendors continue to push teleradiology in order to reach a previously untouched patient population, teleradiology has shifted from supplementary to a replacement of some traditional in-house radiology services?threatening long-term income potential for the radiologist profession.
In the face of the changing landscape, David C. Levin, Jonathan W. Berlin, and Vijay M. Rao once again presented their recommendations on how radiologists can respond effectively to these circumstances.
Overall, their message is that radiologists need to change their current approach. Cooperation was a key takeaway in the session as the presenters stressed the importance of working closely with administrators, primary care physicians, and hospitals. Working relationships such as these will allow radiologists to improve quality of care as well as take advantage of synergistic solutions for their mutual concerns. Consolidating with other radiologists into larger practices will also allow them to increase their shared resources and enable them to respond to threats such as teleradiology.
In the end, many of the changes radiologists face are inevitable and inexorable. In response, radiologists need to be proactive and meet these challenges on their own terms: change perceptions by focusing on quality over quantity, and become more involved in patient care to ensure their satisfaction. By taking these steps, the presenters argue, radiologists can safeguard their future against the myriad of threats.