Data from the 2013 Medical Imaging Confidence Index (MICI) third-quarter survey shows that radiology administrators continue to be skeptical about the level of compensation their facilities will receive from Medicare for diagnostic and interventional procedures.
The MICI is a composite score of 12 elements, and can range from a low of 50 (meaning extremely low confidence) to a high of 150. It is produced by the MarkeTech Group, the Association for Medical Imaging Management (AHRA) and AuntMinnie.com, and surveyed 144 imaging directors and hospital managers.
In the case of confidence in Medicare reimbursement levels, the score was just 63. Radiology administrators also were skeptical about their ability to access capital for imaging equipment and IT needs (the score was just 87).
However, respondents were confident (a score of 126) that operating and staff costs will remain constant, and that their operation will maintain itself--or even grow--as a profit center within their healthcare facility (with a score of 117).
"Since we created the Medical Imaging Confidence Index in Q3 2011, we have seen very consistent confidence levels between Medicare reimbursement and access to capital on the low end of the index [60-90] versus hospitals' ability to maintain profitability and control costs on the high end of the index ," Christian Renaudin, CEO and founder of the MarkeTech Group, said in an announcement. "This speaks for imaging directors' sense of economic reality with healthcare reform and the current capital market, and yet they seem very confident that they can navigate successfully the unclear waters of imaging services and fulfill their care mission by controlling cost and improving productivity."
AHRA CEO Ed Cronin added that uncertainty, no doubt, played a "major factor" in the results.
"Healthcare delivery and perhaps especially medical imaging will be different," Cronin said. "With market and political forces playing out slowly, the role of a competent imaging manager has never been more vital."