You may remember the string of articles published here on DoctorDalai.com concerning Imaging Advantage.
In brief, Imaging Advantage insinuates itself between radiologists and hospital administrations, promising the latter huge benefits and screwing the former. Think Enron and the energy market, and you have the idea. IA's most famous take-over and subsequent flop in Toledo is well documented here and elsewhere.
The model is one only a doctor-hating administrator could love. IA claims that they are usually able to successfully hire on the group they are displacing from the hospital, and ultimately that group loses a good chunk of its salary, which goes back to IA, and probably is kicked back in some subtle form to the hospital. Administrators seem to be buying into the platitudes, as IA claims "hospitals and partners across 14 states."
Since I've declared my love for capitalism on numerous occasions, the Socialists out there are probably just drooling (more than usual) over the opportunity to point out that IA represents the "free" market in action, so how could I possibly object? Basically, this is anything but a free market scenario. C-Suite types, who make these decisions, are NOT the end-consumer of my product. They are choosing IA and their ilk in theory to "improve care" which somehow never seems to happen. Perhaps they think they will save some money on those horribly expensive rads, although how this happens when most hospitals don't directly pay rads is a mystery to me. My personal theory is that these interlopers take over the interpretive revenue stream from the rads, and somehow promise, maybe surreptitiously, to return some of that to the hospitals. No, this is about as much of a free market operation as the collection of protection money.
But only greedy capitalistic administrators would fall for this greedy capitalistic scheme? Wrong, borscht-breath. Your very own United States of America is buying into the inflated egos of Mr. Hashim and company. I assume our pal Naseer still runs this thing...the IA website isn't very informative these days.
Read this and weep:
Yes, folks, that would be about SIX MILLION DOLLARS out of YOUR pocket and mine, to fund this "experiment". There's a sucker born every minute, and most go to work for the government or become hospital administrators, it seems.
Health Care Innovation Awards: Illinois
IMAGING ADVANTAGE LLC
IA is doing nothing more than slapping a few buzz-words on its anything-but-clever "Real Time QA", labeling it a cost saving measure, (which is like wrapping a turd in fancy paper) and selling it to the
Imaging Advantage is committed to advancing patient care and optimizing radiology services healthcare by introducing our RealTime QA Program. Imaging Advantage is the first in the healthcare industry to create a program specifically designed to address issues and resolve discrepancies while the patient is still present in the hospital, clinic or imaging center.Anyone who buys into this should be committed, in my humble opinion. What is a "targeted high-risk case"? Where are the most errors made? Probably mammo, but I don't see them applying this in that venue. How many of these double reads will be forced on the already overworked and underpaid rads? And I suppose cutting imaging utilization is the primary goal of a company that makes money from imaging utilization? Sure it is. Actually, utilization was cut at the IA flagship in Toledo, according to one of the displaced rads there, as clinicians took their business elsewhere.
How it Works
Using our double blind parallel reading and review process, targeted high-risk cases are selected and interpreted simultaneously by two radiologists. If the results differ materially, the interpreting physicians review and resolve discrepancies, and correct any reported results prior to the patient being discharged. Simply put, higher quality of patient care is provided if discrepancies are resolved prior to the patient leaving the facility.
Why it’s Important
Catching mistakes before they are made, our RealTime QA Program adds value to healthcare facilities by:
--Reducing errors in high-risk exams lowering malpractice claim potential
--Reducing the need for patient call-back or report addenda
--Improving operational efficiency
If you aren't happy about your tax dollars supporting this, let your Congressman know. As an aside, and this is my PERSONAL OPINION, not reflective of anyone or anything else...any rad who signs on with IA had better have one incredible collection of extenuating circumstances which forced him to do so...otherwise don't ever come to me looking for work. Favorable consideration will be given, however, to those displaced by this operation.