Advancing the Business of Radiology
The leading professional organization for radiology business management professionals in any radiology setting.

Welcome, Leaders!

As a practice leader, you have come to the right place for radiology business professionals who are dedicated to supporting and enhancing their vocation, investing in their career and pursuing higher goals. You have the respect of your physicians to help guide, develop and maintain a practice/department and you strive to advance the profession and improve the business of healthcare.

RBMA is the place to turn for inspiration, resources and practical tools you can’t find anywhere else.

“The RBMA provides critical information through expertise and dedication to the field of radiology business. Being a member of RBMA as an administrator has provided me with the most up to date information and networking opportunities to assist me in performing at the highest level.”

More Resources For Practice Leaders:

Resources For Leaders

Register now for DataMAXX for reliable and immediate data to make the right operational decisions, optimize resources, continuously improve performance and develop a strategy for the future


Welcome, Radiology Business Managers!

As a manager you have come to the right place for information and resources that will assist you in coding properly and obtaining the best possible reimbursement for your practice.

RBMA connects radiology business managers with resources and practical tools to help you succeed.

“I have been in the radiology business for 34 years and have seen many changes. One of the best changes is how the RBMA has grown and provides us with the necessary tools that we need in order to help us continue on this rocky road.”

More Resources For Managers:

Conference Audio Recording


Resources For Managers



Enroll in RBMA U’s Radiology Business 101 – an overview program covering the basics of radiology business as defined under the RBMA Common Body of Knowledge.



RBMA’s innovative new practice analytic solution that takes benchmarking to new levels through the combination of your practice’s information and state-of-the art technology and data query protocols.



Welcome, Coders!

As a coder, you have come to the right place for for information and resources that will assist you in coding properly and obtaining the best possible reimbursement for your practice.

RBMA connects coders with resources and practical tools to help you succeed.

“RBMA membership offerings, either the list serve or conference attendance, has provided up to date trends in coding, payor policy and practice management issues. The topics discussed through the list serve either coding or practice management has helped my practice be proactive.”

More Resources For Practice Coders:

Resources For Coders


Prepare for tomorrow. Order your ICD-10-CM Toolkit today.
The IDC-10-CM Toolkit designed by Coding Strategies (CSI) and Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) gives the busy radiology administrator all of the tools needed to prepare the practice for the implementation of ICD-10.

Libman Education

Welcome, Marketers!

As a marketer, you have come to the right place for information on the state of imaging today and how to effectively market your radiology practice by incorporating tools and strategies including social media and today’s technological innovations.

RBMA is the place to turn for inspiration, resources and practical tools you can’t find anywhere else.

“The RBMA Marketing Conference is a great way to network with colleagues from around the country to gain different ideas and perspectives without the threat of direct competition.”

More Resources For Practice Marketers:

Order your Marketing Toolkit today.

A toolkit designed specifically for radiology marketing, includes samples forms and ideas.

Click here to preview Table of Contents.

Resources For Marketers

5 Steps to Effective Social Media Measurement
If you’re going to invest time in social media, you need to measure performance, but it can be difficult to identify relevant metrics.

How to Generate Compelling Content Ideas for Your Online Customer or Member Community [Infographic]
Are you looking for content to fulfill your new content marketing strategy, but don’t know where to start? Try these 10 great content ideas – plus a bonus idea – to jump start or breathe new life into your efforts.


Welcome, Vendors!

As a vendor offering radiology products and services you have come to the right place to find your target audience. RBMA attracts decision-makers with buying power.

RBMA members rely on vendors to keep them informed of new technologies, developments, and products for their practices.

“RBMA provides the foundation for connecting with the right people. We appreciate the opportunity to visit with our existing clients as well as meet new prospective clients.”

More Resources For Practice Vendors:

Resources For Vendors

Start planning your 2014 marketing program with RBMA today! Consider a Global Level Sponsorship. Contact for details.


Enhance your RBMA presence, increase brand awareness, and solidify your position in the industry through a variety of sponsorship programs

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Merge Healthcare Offers View on Future of IT and Practice Analytics

(Vendor) Permanent link

Healthcare information technology has evolved at a rapid pace over the past 15 years, and Shannon Marshall, solutions manager at Merge Healthcare, an IBM company, has had a front-row seat observing this remarkable transformation. In the latest issue of the RBMA Bulletin magazine, Marshall shared her thoughts on what is happening now in IT and what lies ahead in the future.

According to Marshall, the current trend is the focus on adding more data analytics to software. “Analytics is really telling the story of a business,” she says. “It is about understanding how and why your business is performing a certain way, not just what the end results are. It’s exciting to realize that while analytics really only became a major buzzword in 2011, healthcare has made incredible progress in just five years—and is now at a comparable level to other complex industries.”

As an extremely data-driven company, Merge’s focus on analytics is very much about how to make data meaningful and actionable for its customers, Marshall explains in the magazine. Different groups will have different needs, and the beauty of analytics is how they can be tailored to answer the specific questions of the user, whether that user is a PACS administrator, a PACS user, a scheduler, a biller, a CFO or a CEO.

“At Merge, when we think about analytics, we really break it down to the piece of the business that is particular to that product, but we also use the data that is fed into those products for comprehensive overviews and real-time business tracking,” she says. “The moment data is entered, it is electronically sent to Merge Dashboards™ to provide real-time overviews and reporting capabilities that span the entire enterprise.”

Marshall also discusses the Watson Health medical imaging collaborative that IBM announce in June. “To have a dramatic impact on healthcare, it is imperative that providers and vendors come together to drive with a common vision,” she says. “As we have in the past, Merge will strive to deliver products that improve physician efficacy and patient outcomes. This work aligns with Watson Health’s aim to serve as a catalyst to help improve lives of people around the world, and help lower healthcare costs through the power of cognitive insights.”

To read the full interview with Marshall, please see the RBMA Bulletin article. Member login required.


How Marketers Can Help the Patient Centered Radiology Effort

(Marketing) Permanent link

“It will be hard to put the patient in the center of healthcare, if we are standing there ourselves,” says Jim Rawson, M.D., chair of the American College of Radiology Commission on Patient and Family Centered Care, and radiologists are getting the message. Most are intrinsically motivated to do the right thing for their patients, but it is very hard to switch world views when radiologists have spent their whole careers as the revenue generators at the center of every imaging practice.

At the RBMA Fall Educational Conference in New Orleans, Jennifer L. Kemp, M.D., FACR, of Diversified Radiology of Colorado, updated attendees on what is happening with the work of the Radiological Society of North America Radiology Cares campaign. Her assessment from looking at surveys of radiologists was that the vast majority of radiologists want to practice in a more patient-centered manner. However, they simply do not know how and are struggling with barriers like lack of time and resources. 

This is an issue radiology marketers could really help with. While the patient-centered radiology effort is being led by physicians, marketers have deep knowledge and experience in looking at practices from the perspective of the patient and coming up with ideas for how to make the patient experience better. They know how to explain concepts in easy-to-grasp common language and can help doctors communicate more effectively. They are creative and can think up ideas for operational changes that will appeal directly to patients. Most of all, they know how to amplify a message using multiple possible communication vehicles so that radiologists can communicate more with less time and effort. 

Kemp also pointed conference attendees to the customizable flyers and letters the Radiology Cares campaign has made available on the RSNA Practice Resources webpage and to the patient education materials at This is a perfect place for radiology marketers to jump in and help their physicians create versions customized for their practice. Although Kemp encouraged attendees to not “let the perfect be the enemy of the good” when it comes to improving the patient experience, it is undeniable that radiologists want their practices to look great to their patients and referral sources.  If they can’t get their message in a form they are comfortable sharing, they will hesitate to pass that along that message to patients or referrals sources. 

Other marketing-type ideas Kemp shared included patient postcards and waiting-room internet access as well as more expensive changes like patient valet parking that marketers could team with their radiologists to research and possibly implement. To learn more about the Radiology Cares effort, visit

Watch for Private Payor MPPR Examples

(Coding) Permanent link

In next month’s UnitedHealthcare Network Bulletin, the insurance giant is expected to announce that it will change its multiple procedure payment reduction (MPPR) on the professional component of advanced imaging services from 25 percent to 5 percent on Jan. 1, 2017, to be in line with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is also reducing the payment reduction to 5 percent on New Year’s Day. This is great news for radiology, but don’t expect the MPPR to disappear overnight. Private payors set their own policies and can decide to continue to apply the discount after Jan. 1. This is something coders and billers will definitely need to watch out for.

Coding experts advise that when a patient is imaged twice in 24-hour time period but in separate sessions for unrelated reasons, coders use the -59 modifier for “separate and distinct procedural service.” Only use this modifier, however, if the sessions are indeed separate and distinct, such as a cancer patient imaged in the morning suffering an accident or fall later in the day and needing to be checked for a possible fracture in the afternoon. 

Billers and coders can also perform a valuable service by being the eyes and the ears of organized radiology across the country. The ACR has asked that those aware of private payors who continue to apply the 25 percent MPPR on the professional component of imaging alert Katie Keysor at

In situations where it is not quite clear if the MPPR is being applied fairly, a good resource is the RBMA Coding Forum list serve. As one recent example to the Coding Forum made clear, the MPPR is complicated and even payors may sometimes apply it incorrectly. One member of the forum reported that a globally billed procedure had an MPPR discount of 75 percent applied to it because the payor simply added the 50 percent discount on the technical component and the 25 percent discount on the professional component together to arrive at what the discount on globally billed procedures should be. This is not correct.

By working together with other RBMA members and the ACR to track and document patterns of MPPR issues, the industry may gather more examples to use in pushing back on private payors who continue to implement MPPR discounts on the professional component. For situations where Medicare Administrative Contractors may continue to accidentally apply the MPPR at greater than 5 percent of the professional component after Jan. 1, the official instruction issued to the MACS is CR9647 issued and is available at 

How to Cope with Disruptive Physicians

(Management) Permanent link

At the RBMA Fall Educational Conference executive roundtable, how to deal with disagreements between physician shareholders was a common problem. When disagreements spill over into actual disruptive behavior it can create a toxic work environment. That’s when consultants like Will Latham are often called in.

Latham founded Latham Consulting Group and has more than 25 years of experience in practice management and consulting. At the conference, he presented several tips on how to “disrupt the disruptive physician.”

In Latham’s experience, there are myriad reasons for why a radiologist in a group may become disruptive. It could be workload related with the pressure of the job leading the physician to act out. It could also be a learned behavior. Medical schools have gotten better, but old attitudes persist that sanction physicians behaving outside the normal rules of professionalism as long as they demonstrate above-average ability in medicine. Sometimes it may be due to a conflict with other members of the health care team, or a specific policy or procedure-related problem. And of course it could always be due to a reason completely outside of work, including behavioral health problems like addiction or depression. 

The key is understanding the root cause if one hopes to salvage the relationship with the disruptive physician. Of course, this is not what most practice managers initially do. Because practice managers are tasked with keeping the group functioning as well as possible, they strive for harmony and seek to avoid conflict. Unfortunately, when disruptive behavior is tolerated instead of addressed, it only gets worse. 

To confront a disruptive physician, Latham offered these tips:

  • Focus on behavior, not personality. 
  • Describe the specific situation that illustrates the behavior you are concerned about. 
  • Explain why it concerns you and express your desire for change. 
  • Seek out and listen to the individual’s reasons for this behavior. 
  • Inform the individual how improved behavior will improve his/her relationship with the group.
  • Ask for the individual’s ideas and commitment to solving the problem. 
  • Offer your encouragement and support. 
  • Agree on an action plan and set a date to discuss it.

And if your group is lucky and has not encountered a problem with a disruptive physician, do not assume it could never happen to you. Make time to review your policies around professional behavior, seek advice from a lawyer experienced with human resources issues, approach hiring very carefully and make sure that rules for how the group is governed are fair and transparent to all so that when there is an issue where a physician does not agree with the majority of the other group members, that physician knows the decision must still be respected.

How Much is Your Imaging Practice Worth?

(Leadership) Permanent link

Regulatory change and declining reimbursement is driving consolidation in the industry. Against this background, understanding what your practice is worth is valuable for radiologists and radiology business managers alike.

At the RBMA Fall Educational Conference in New Orleans last month, Clinton Flume of VMG Health, a healthcare valuation business with offices in Dallas, Nashville and Denver, explained how companies such as his approach the valuation of an imaging business. At present, regulatory change is impacting the value attached to imaging centers and radiology practices, Flume noted and it is important for radiology business to be aware of these factors.

There are three ways to approach putting a value on a business: The cost approach, the income approach and the market approach. In the cost approach (aka, build-up approach), the identified tangible and intangible assets of the practice are valued based on the cost associated with “recreating” each asset. The income approach attempts to assign a value to the business based on forecasting future net cash flow or put another way, the worth of future benefits of owning the practice. Finally, the market approach estimates the practice’s value by comparing the value of similar assets, securities or services traded in a free and open market.

Valuation experts may employ a combination of all three approaches to try to get to the most accurate estimate for the practice’s value, and will look at many factors. Among these, factors that indicate future income are particularly tricky to assess because this estimation relies on the assumption that the practice will remain viable in the future. Considering that at present, no one is entirely certain how quickly alternative payment models will be adopted, predicting future income is particularly tricky.

According to Flume, some of the factors that can increase the perceived value of an imaging practice because it indicates future profitability and market strength include:

  • High historical population growth. 
  • High historical profitability.
  • Multiple referral sources rather than reliance on just a few.
  • Growth in number of referring physicians.
  • A diverse payor mix without reliance on just a few payors.
  • Low reliance upon Medicare/Medicaid. 

In contrast, markets where the local hospitals are consolidating and employing increasing numbers of referring physicians can adversely affect imaging center evaluation. But even this is somewhat fluid as drivers of high-value coordinated care that limits over-utilization of services could create increased strategic value for an imaging center. 

Understanding what your radiology business may actually be worth can influences many strategic decisions, including decisions about mergers, acquisitions or joint ventures going forward. VMG offers a free email newsletter, Health Value Insights, through its website at

MIPS and MACRA Offer Opportunity to Move Enterprise Imaging Forward

(Vendor) Permanent link

Contributed by Anthony Gevo, senior vice president of Plexus Teleradiolgy, a unit of Integrated Medical Partners 

Radiology, like the rest of health care, is in a transitionary period. Since 1930 to about 1990, we were in the period of Radiology 1.0, which was typified by the radiologist and the attending physician standing next to each other and looking at a film box. This was the era when the radiologist was referred to as the “doctor’s doctor.” 

Then Radiology 2.0 happened. From about 1990 to 2014, radiology was typified by the digital transition in radiology. Film went away. Film boxes went away. There were tremendous upsides in new modalities and diagnostic techniques, but the downsides were pretty significant as well. Because of changes in reimbursement and patient involvement in care, the number of diagnostic images skyrocketed. 

A very important downside to the digital radiology revolution was that the radiologists quit being the doctor’s doctor. Instead, they became nameless, faceless resources producing reports in dark rooms disconnected from the patient and in many cases, the hospital. A number of leaders in health care view the Medicare Authorization and CHIP Reauthorization Act and the new Medicare Incentive Payment System as a real opportunity for radiology to take a leadership role and once again become the doctor’s doctor. 

The MACRA MIPS formula shifts the reimbursement from volume, transactions and reports over to the quality of care the patient is receiving. Experts propose doing this by shifting from Radiology 2.0 to what they call Enterprise Imaging 3.0.

The transition to enterprise imaging is going to expand imaging beyond radiology. Today, there are plenty of medical specialties that do not use the DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) standard, for example. Cardiology has plenty of artifacts that don’t comply with DICOM. The same is true for pathology, dermatology and anesthesiology, and the move to enterprise imaging is going to address that. 

This will coincide with a shift away from the all-in-one single-vendor PACS (picture archiving and communication system) or reading system to what many are calling a deconstructed imaging platform. As a cloud-based PACS provider, we are working toward vendor-neutral components like vendor-neutral archiving systems that can will store not just images from radiologists but also all other types of images that are involved in patient care.

These tools will erase the silo effect of current electronic medical records (EMRs) where even the best EMR cannot show all the information about a patient. With deconstructed imaging platform, DICOM images, waveforms, EKGs, invisible light, scanned documents, JPEG photos, will all be available from a single user interface. This will be the key for impacting the quality of care.
Radiology has always led the rest of health care in the adoption of standards and interoperability. In a value-based medicine future where quality will be defined as what impact did the particular treatment or procedure have on the patient’s care, it is poised to lead the way with an enterprise imaging approach.
Anthony Gevo joined the Plexus Teleradiology unit of Integrated Medical Partners (IMP) in March of 2016. He has more than 20 years of imaging industry experience. IMP is an RBMA Thought Leader partner.


RBMA Fall Educational Conference Day 3: Learning Through Sharing

(Fall Educational Conference) Permanent link

The third day of the RBMA Fall Educational Conference in New Orleans started out someplace most attendees had never been before. On the Dark Web.

General Session speaker Brian Hill of Computer Forensic Services in Minnetonka, Minn., took attendees on a tour of recent high-profile cybercrime events and visited sites on the Dark Web, a collection of websites that are public but hide the IP addresses of the servers that run them. These included sites that traffic in personal health information and stolen credit card information, as well as illegal pornography and even murder. Hill’s caution was that there is a very efficient and sophisticated market for hacked information, and it is not if your information is going to be accessed and stolen but when.

More than a few RBMA members probably changed their passwords after Hill’s presentation or headed over to the mid-morning session on cyber insurance. However, any paranoia about sharing information seemed to dissipate as they networked in the exhibit hall and traded stories and best practices in the multiple roundtable discussions and formal presentations that followed.

The discussion in the ICD-10 roundtable led by Shannon Marshal, a Solutions Manager at Merge Healthcare, was especially lively. Many who took part in the roundtable discussion were worried about what might happen next week when the ICD-10 leniency period negotiated between the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service and the American Medical Association expires. Restrictions on the use of unspecified codes are expected to tighten up, and while payors may still accept unspecified codes, these claims could get flagged for post-payment reviews and denials.

“Don’t think because you don’t see denials on October 1, that everything is Kosher,” one attendee cautioned.

Another attendee worries that radiology billers and coders had not gotten the message from CMS that the leniency period was to give them more time to prepare and not to simply rest easy and stop worrying about ICD-10 coding for another 12 months.

“We’ve not taken advantage of the past year to learn how to code at the highest levels of specificity and now we are coming up on the deadline again,” she explained. “My fear is that we have squandered this year.”

The Executive Idea Swap session was also productive. Attendees shared ideas about how to make shareholder meetings more effective, what to do about difficult physicians, how to reduce conflicts among radiology group shareholders, where to get reliable cost benchmarking data, and how to properly recognize radiologists for non-RVU producing activity, like administrative tasks, board membership and consulting on findings.

Other  sessions on the last day of the conference addressed the ACR’s Dose Index Registry, revenue cycle management, staffing analytics, data mining and much more. It all demonstrated the RBMA’s mission of education and motto: Progress through sharing!



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