News from around the coalition and beyond
Leadership Lessons from the Military: Build Effective Teams or Surrender
Leadership Lessons from the Military: Build Effective Teams or Surrender
October 31, 2018

A commanding presence in radiology for many years, Arl Van Moore Jr, MD, FACR, FSIR, Strategic Radiology (SR) CEO, reached into his former Navy life—training and serving as an officer in the nuclear submarine service—to share leadership lessons from the military during SR’s Executive Education event in Fort Worth in September.

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Fee for Service: Payment Fundamentals, Trends, and Troubles
Fee for Service: Payment Fundamentals, Trends, and Troubles
October 31, 2018

Kurt Schoppe, MD, talks about reimbursement the way others dissect a novel or an episode of a favorite TV show: players, motives, plot points, unintended consequences.  The ACR advisor to AMA’s RVU Update Committee (RUC) held attendees rapt at Strategic Radiology’s Executive Education event in Fort Worth in September as he delivered the first of three short talks that linked payment policy with relationship building and strategies to deal with the reimbursement uncertainty ahead.

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Artificial Intelligence: Inside the ACR’s Plan for Incubating New Radiologist Tools
Artificial Intelligence: Inside the ACR’s Plan for Incubating New Radiologist Tools
October 31, 2018

As the hype behind artificial intelligence (AI) is replaced with a recognition of the barriers to adoption, radiologists increasingly are intrigued with AI’s potential to expedite, augment, and generally improve their ability to interpret medical images. To that end—and presumably to pre-empt a Wild West scenario—the ACR has created an AI framework for developers that would ensure that the tools created are reliable, useful, diverse, and pose no threat to patients.

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United Imaging Consultants: On a Steady Path to Higher Value
United Imaging Consultants: On a Steady Path to Higher Value
September 12, 2018

United Imaging Consultants (UIC), based in the Kansas City suburb of Mission, Kan., grew out of a four-way merger in 2000 and the recognition that busier nights and the rise of subspecialization in radiology required scaling up in size. The practice has followed a steady path to delivering greater value to its hospital partners ever since.

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SR Recruits RCM Pro to Lead Revenue Cycle Optimization
SR Recruits RCM Pro to Lead Revenue Cycle Optimization
September 12, 2018

Sharon Fremer, Strategic Radiology’s new vice president, revenue cycle optimization, is on a heat-seeking mission for results. Fresh from her first session with business analytics director Dave Polmanteer, she is preparing to bring 30 years of experience in revenue cycle to bear on improving member practice finances.

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Consolidation in Radiology 2.0—Look Before You Leap
Consolidation in Radiology 2.0—Look Before You Leap
September 12, 2018

By Wayne K. Baldwin

In a prior life, I was General Counsel and Chief Development Officer for Comprehensive Medical Imaging, a consolidator of outpatient imaging centers across the country. It is interesting to me that consolidation has again become in vogue.

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Are Reading Room Interruptions Taking a Toll on Accuracy and Efficiency?
Are Reading Room Interruptions Taking a Toll on Accuracy and Efficiency?
September 12, 2018

Ever wonder or worry about the toll reading room interruptions could have on the accuracy and/or efficiency of your personal practice?  A group of researchers that included Booth Aldred, MD, from SR member practice Austin Radiological Association, looked into those question and published their results in a recent issue of the Journal of Medical Imaging. Their research could improve reading room protocols in the future.

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Back to School: September Brings Multiple Fall Executive Education Opportunities
Back to School: September Brings Multiple Fall Executive Education Opportunities
August 1, 2018

With the annual fall back-to-school ritual just a month away, September brings multiple, rich leadership education opportunities in radiology—the Radiology Leadership Institute (RLI) Leadership Summit in Wellesley, Mass, Strategic Radiology’s (SR) Executive Education Program, and SR’s bi-annual SR Quality Forum in Dallas-Fort Worth. “Radiology is facing many challenges right now,” said Arl Van Moore Jr, MD, FACR, chair and CEO, Strategic Radiology. “How do we preserve what we prize most about our profession—the ability to innovate, the willingness to seek better tools and techniques to improve the care for our patients and keep them first—yet improve the value our nation gets from our sector? New approaches will be necessary, and we need to initiate leadership education for the next generation of leaders earlier in their training.”

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DeepLesion: NIH Releases Massive CT Database Used to Create Universal Lesion Detector
DeepLesion: NIH Releases Massive CT Database Used to Create Universal Lesion Detector
August 1, 2018

In July, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center released DeepLesion to the scientific community, a massive dataset that contains 32,735 lesions in 32,120 CT slices from 10,594 studies of 4,427 unique patients.  Its stated purpose was to help the scientific community improve detection accuracy of lesions.

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The 3 Biggest Compliance Mistakes Private Practices Make
The 3 Biggest Compliance Mistakes Private Practices Make
August 1, 2018

By John Outlaw, CHC, CHBME

When I started my career in health care compliance nearly 15 years ago, compliance programs were just beginning to take hold outside of hospital systems and were a largely foreign concept for physician practices. Back then, they were strictly voluntary, but today compliance programs are a mandatory condition of participation in Medicare as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). At the same time, we have experienced tremendous expansion of government oversight of the health care industry that has dramatically increased risk for physician practices.

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CMS Holds Line on CDS Deadline, Includes Outpatient Imaging Sites, Extends Site-neutral Pay
CMS Holds Line on CDS Deadline, Includes Outpatient Imaging Sites, Extends Site-neutral Pay
August 1, 2018

Providers that have stood on the clinical decision support (CDS) sidelines as the implementation deadline approaches received a strong signal that CMS intends to stand firm on the requirement to implement appropriate use criteria (AUC) and CDS with the July 12 publication of the proposed 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS).

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SIIM Board Chair Jim Whitfill, MD: Talking AI, Blockchain, and a Less Sexy Topic
SIIM Board Chair Jim Whitfill, MD: Talking AI, Blockchain, and a Less Sexy Topic
July 5, 2018

Strategic Radiology’s CIO Jim Whitfill, MD, was recently installed as chair of the board of directors for the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM). Whitfill, a clinically trained internal medicine physician, entered radiology by way of an informatics fellowship undertaken in the late 1990s, after which he took a position as CIO with a large radiology practice in the Southwest.

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X-Ray Consultants: Progressive and Proactive
X-Ray Consultants: Progressive and Proactive
July 5, 2018

The 19 physicians of X-Ray Consultants (XRC)—Strategic Radiology’s newest affiliate practice based in South Bend, Indiana—have had a ringside seat on the consolidation that is reshaping the hospital landscape.  The group goes back to the 1940s, when one of its founders Wallace Buchanan, MD, served as president of the American College of Radiology.  In the early ’60s the practice became known as Lockhart & Beach until its incorporation as X-Ray Consultants in 1979.

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Park City, Utah: June Membership and Board of Managers Meeting
Park City, Utah: June Membership and Board of Managers Meeting
July 5, 2018

The Strategic Radiology (SR) June Meeting returned to the idyllic mountain setting of Park City, Utah, last month to take care of coalition business and update member practices and the board of managers on progress toward the strategic plan and objectives of the coalition. Long days in meeting rooms ended in networking opportunities over the dinner table—establishing the trust and collegiality necessary to build a functional team requires interpersonal interaction and face time with all team members.

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On the Podium, in the Winner’s Circle: SR Practices Show Up at RBMA Spark Conference
On the Podium, in the Winner’s Circle: SR Practices Show Up at RBMA Spark Conference
July 3, 2018

A dozen marketing directors responsible for marketing individual Strategic Radiology practices gathered in Nashville in June for their annual meeting prior to the RBMA Spark marketing conference—as usual, the three hours allotted flew by too fast. It was a great start to a conference that brought a number of marketing directors to the podium to both share their knowledge and collect awards. Content takeaway? We're all a little bit millennial.

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Robert Epstein, MD, William Keyes, MD,  Honored with ACR Fellow Degree
Robert Epstein, MD, William Keyes, MD, Honored with ACR Fellow Degree
May 31, 2018

No honor is sweeter than recognition by one’s peers, and that is precisely what happened in late May when Robert Epstein, MD, FACR, and William Keyes, MD, FACR, became fellows of the American College of Radiology during the annual meeting. Fellowship is an honor received by a slim 10% of radiologists and granted based on a radiologist’s contributions to the College, organized radiology, teaching, and/or research. The list of past recipients includes many luminary names, including SR CEO and chair Arl Van Moore, MD, FACR.

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Bradley J. Bohnert, MD: Parsing the Subspecialties
Bradley J. Bohnert, MD: Parsing the Subspecialties
May 31, 2018

When neuroradiologist Bradley J. Bohnert, MD, MBA, isn’t describing brain tumors, measuring carotid stenosis, or interpreting spinal MRI studies, he wrestles with practice staffing issues and other management functions as CEO of Radiology Ltd., a Strategic Radiology (SR) member practice in Tucson, Arizona.  He also found the time to map nearly 1000 radiology CPT codes to their appropriate subspecialties as part of SR’s broader effort to aggregate and organize data for clinical benchmarking and business intelligence purposes. In its infancy, the subspecialty mapping project is the first step in an endeavor that Dr. Bohnert hopes will demonstrate the value of radiology subspecialization.

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Tower Imaging Medical Group: Excellence, Entrepreneurship, and an Academic Flavor
Tower Imaging Medical Group: Excellence, Entrepreneurship, and an Academic Flavor
May 31, 2018

Over the years, Strategic Radiology's newest affiliate practice Tower Imaging Medical Group (TIMG) has earned a place in the firmament of Los Angeles-based radiology practices, with a complex practice genealogy that blends entrepreneurship with an academic flair. It serves two prestigious hospitals—Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica and Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia—and in joining the Strategic Radiology coalition, the highly subspecialized but relatively small 17-radiologist practice found a beachhead in the rapidly consolidating Los Angeles market.

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Diana Stillwell, MHSA, CNMT and CPHQ: Journey to Quality Certification
Diana Stillwell, MHSA, CNMT and CPHQ: Journey to Quality Certification
May 31, 2018

Shortly after joining the Strategic Radiology coalition, the leadership of Orlando, Fla.-based Medical Center Radiology Group attended the coalition’s twice-yearly Quality Forum and made a note: Designate a patient safety lead for the practice and initiate a formal quality program. Back in Florida, MCRG leadership reached out to Diana Stillwell, a nuclear medicine technologist who had just completed her MHA after going back to school and was working for one of their hospitals at the time. When they asked her to lead the program, she hesitated: “I didn’t feel that I had the knowledge that I needed,” recalls Stillwell, director of quality improvement and risk management, MCRG.  “But I knew that I was a resourceful person and thought it was a great opportunity, so I dove right in. I have been in the role for about two and a half years now.”

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Kurt Schoppe, MD: On Radiology’s Nearest Threat, Commoditization, and the Misguided Notion That You Will Be Paid for Everything You Do
Kurt Schoppe, MD: On Radiology’s Nearest Threat, Commoditization, and the Misguided Notion That You Will Be Paid for Everything You Do
May 8, 2018

A self-described militant pragmatist, radiologist Kurt Schoppe, MD, the ACR’s RUC advisor, is not one to shy away from unpleasant economic truths about medicine. Schoppe, a body radiologist with Strategic Radiology member practice Radiology Associates of North Texas in Dallas/Fort Worth, shared some plain-speak on medical economics in a recent column called “Unpopular Opinions” in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.   

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Minneapolis Radiology Associates: Innovation Rules at Fiercely Independent Group
Minneapolis Radiology Associates: Innovation Rules at Fiercely Independent Group
May 3, 2018

Strategic Radiology’s newest affiliate member practice was founded in 1970 to serve the needs of North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, Minn. “Like most groups, it began with a couple of radiologists sitting in a dark room at a growing hospital,” shares Troy Roovers, the CEO of the 26-physician Minneapolis Radiology Associates (MRA).

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Linda Wilgus, MBA, CPA, Receives Global Achievement Award from RBMA
Linda Wilgus, MBA, CPA, Receives Global Achievement Award from RBMA
May 2, 2018

Linda Wilgus, MBA, CPA, has spent more hours than she can count over the past 20 years reading physician fee schedules, state and federal laws, and other legal and regulatory documents impacting the business of radiology.  On April 5 in San Diego, Wilgus was recognized for her work as a member and chair of the RBMA Federal Affairs Committee by its president Thomas Dickerson, EdD, when he awarded her with the association’s Global Achievement Award.

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Co-management in Spokane: Inland and Providence Add Value with Market-wide Imaging Coordination
Co-management in Spokane: Inland and Providence Add Value with Market-wide Imaging Coordination
March 28, 2018

Since 1930, Inland Imaging, Spokane, Wash., has provided radiology services for Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children’s Hospital, a 719-bed quaternary care hospital, and Providence Holy Family Hospital, a 197-bed community hospital, owned by Providence Health & Services. The radiologists and hospitals deepened their relationship in 1998, when they entered into an exclusive outpatient imaging center joint venture (JV) contract that committed them to a 50-50 ownership of all of their outpatient imaging services in a prescribed geography.

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SR Adopts Sweeping Plan for Enhanced Collaboration at March Board Meeting
SR Adopts Sweeping Plan for Enhanced Collaboration at March Board Meeting
April 4, 2018

In a unanimous vote, the Strategic Radiology (SR) Board of Managers approved a business plan to implement three sweeping national initiatives that will greatly enhance collaborative activity and services for members, 22 privately owned and independent radiology practices. “We have a clear direction, we know where our compass is pointing, and we know what to do,” said Arl Van Moore, MD, FACR, CEO and chair of SR.

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Quality Forum: PSO Basics for Newcomers
Quality Forum: PSO Basics for Newcomers
April 4, 2018

Quality operatives from Strategic Radiology member practices gathered at the March Quality Forum recently, held in Phoenix at the Wild Horse Pass Resort, to share best practices and provide input on future quality initiatives. Lisa Mead, Strategic Radiology PSO and Quality Director, kicked things off with a review of the regulations governing Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) listed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for the new participants in the room.

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SR Satisfaction Survey Tool Hits 1 Million Patient Encounters Milestone
SR Satisfaction Survey Tool Hits 1 Million Patient Encounters Milestone
April 4, 2018

When a leading patient satisfaction survey provider announced changes to its survey tool that reduced its value to radiology practices—particularly those that operated outpatient imaging centers—one member wondered if Strategic Radiology could develop a more relevant and useful tool.  Working together, Lisa Mead, RN, MS, CPHQ, executive director, SR PSO Quality and Safety, initiated a Quality Workgroup to develop the questions, and Dave Polmanteer, director of analytics and business intelligence, developed a survey tool that could be customized for each practice.

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Collaboration: A Logical Response to Consolidation
Collaboration: A Logical Response to Consolidation
March 5, 2018

By Arl Van Moore Jr, MD

Last year’s record-breaking deal-making activity among hospitals and health systems suggests that the market is entering a new era of collaboration as consolidation continues. Size and scale have always propelled merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, but the 2017 deals were different Strategy not finance drove the deal-making, according to a report from Kaufman Hall & Associates.

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Peder Horner, MD:  An  Interventional Radiologist's Guide to the IR Twittersphere
Peder Horner, MD: An Interventional Radiologist's Guide to the IR Twittersphere
March 2, 2018

Nine interventional radiologists (IRs) contributed to an enlightening guide to the Twitter IR ecosystem recently published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology special issue on Social Media and Medicine. Among the authors was one of Strategic Radiology’s more active users of the platform, Diversified Radiology’s Peder Horner, MD, @IR_Doctor.

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RadVAULT: Introducing a Tool to Quantify Value-added, Nonclinical Radiologist Time
RadVAULT: Introducing a Tool to Quantify Value-added, Nonclinical Radiologist Time
March 2, 2018

Have you ever wondered how much time the radiologists in your practice spend on nonclinical, unreimbursed activities? When you meet with clients to negotiate contracts, do you struggle to accurately quantify the hours your radiologists spend on tumor boards, hospital committees, patient safety activities, and other contributions?

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What I Learned About Radiology That You Need to Know
What I Learned About Radiology That You Need to Know
March 2, 2018

By Clint McClurg

Before I began my career with Diversified Radiology in Denver, I really never gave much thought to what a radiologist was, and I certainly didn’t think it mattered. After all, if they got their doctor of medicine degrees, weren’t they the same as any other physician? My second day on the job gave me a clear indicator that I was very misinformed. In a small, dark room with a bank of large monitors, I witnessed something completely unexpected.

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Arl Van Moore, MD, FACR: Representing Radiology in the AMA House of Delegates Since 1996
Arl Van Moore, MD, FACR: Representing Radiology in the AMA House of Delegates Since 1996
February 1, 2018

Twice a year, Strategic Radiology’s CEO Arl Van Moore, MD, FACR, packs a bag and travels to a destination somewhere in the United States to represent radiology in the House of Medicine—the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates (HOD). He has represented radiology as a member of the American College of Radiology’s delegation since 1996.

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SR Practices Pass Halfway Mark On Way to $800,000 RSNA R&E Foundation Gift
SR Practices Pass Halfway Mark On Way to $800,000 RSNA R&E Foundation Gift
February 1, 2018

At the conclusion of 2017, contributions from Strategic Radiology (SR) member practices exceeded the halfway milestone toward funding their $800,000 gift to the RSNA Research and Education (R&E) Foundation.  The commitment will fund annual Strategic Radiology Research Seed Grants for 20 years in support research conducted by young investigators and push the specialty into the future.

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Curtis Langlotz, MD, PhD: How Stanford Does Machine Learning in Radiology
Curtis Langlotz, MD, PhD: How Stanford Does Machine Learning in Radiology
February 1, 2018

Located in the Silicon Valley, Stanford Radiology has an enviable vantage point from which to advance deep learning in radiology. Curtis Langlotz, MD, PhD, director of Stanford’s new Artificial Intelligence in Medicine & Imaging (AIMI) laboratory, was one of three academic radiologists to share their institution’s approach to AI during a standing-room-only How I Do It session at the November 2017 meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA),

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Jennifer Kemp, MD: Pressing the Case for Patient-centered Radiology
Jennifer Kemp, MD: Pressing the Case for Patient-centered Radiology
January 31, 2018

During the 2017 RSNA meeting, Jennifer L. Kemp, MD, a body imager with Strategic Radiology member practice Diversified Radiology, Denver, CO, was awarded with the Minnie Award for Scientific Paper of the Year from Aunt Minnie editor-in-chief Brian Casey.  Kemp received the award as lead author of a paper published in Radiology[1] that described the findings of an RSNA survey exploring radiologists' opinions about patient-centered radiology. 

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Strategic Radiology PSO to Celebrate 5 Years in June
Strategic Radiology PSO to Celebrate 5 Years in June
January 31, 2018

In June, one of Strategic Radiology’s most visible symbols of the value of collaboration, the Patient Safety Organization (PSO), will celebrate its fifth anniversary. Since it was listed by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) on June 19, 2013, SR’s PSO has stood as the first and only radiology-specific PSO in the United States.

 

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Strategic Radiology Launches New Web Site
Strategic Radiology Launches New Web Site
December 21, 2017

If you hadn’t noticed, you may be surprised to see that Strategic Radiology has a brand new, mobile-responsive web site.  Take a few minutes for a test drive. On the home page, you’ll see that there are four user experiences to meet the needs of our primary visitors: radiologists, hospital executives, payers and other partners, and patients. Each section is designed to provide information that helps visitors understand the value that Strategic Radiology practices contribute to health care. 

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QRUR: Getting a Read on Your Value Modifier
QRUR: Getting a Read on Your Value Modifier
December 20, 2017

On September 18, 2017, CMS made available the 2016 Annual Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRURs) to every group practice and solo practitioner in the nation. SR PSO Quality and Safety Director Lisa Mead took that one step further and provided those Strategic Radiology (SR) practices that submitted their data to SR’s Patient Safety Organization with an additional benchmarking document showing them how they compared with their SR peers.

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The 10% That Roared: CMS Adds Cost to 2018 MIPS Reporting Categories
The 10% That Roared: CMS Adds Cost to 2018 MIPS Reporting Categories
December 20, 2017

In January 2018, physicians will receive a positive, negative, or neutral update in their Medicare reimbursement rates based on their final score based calculated from 2016 data for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

Although CMS gave no indication in the proposed 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) that cost would be included in the 2018 calculation—along with quality, improvement activities, and advancing care information categories—the 2018 MPFS Final Rule allotted 10% of the total score to where radiologists fall on the cost spectrum. What does that mean?

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RSNA 2017: Tamping Down High AI Anxiety—How They Do Deep Learning in Radiology
RSNA 2017: Tamping Down High AI Anxiety—How They Do Deep Learning in Radiology
November 28, 2017

Interest—and concern—about artificial intelligence ran so high at the 2017 RSNA meeting that fully 20 minutes prior to the start of “Deep Learning in Radiology: How I Do It,” all seats were occupied and the room was ringed by a standing-room only crowd. Luciano M. Prevedello, MD, MPH, Curtis Langlotz, MD, PhD, and Bradley Erickson, MD, PhD, repaid their eager audience with a rare gift in these times of high AI anxiety—they demystified a powerful new tool.

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RSNA 2017: Telling radiology’s unique tale offers keys to unlock its future
RSNA 2017: Telling radiology’s unique tale offers keys to unlock its future
November 26, 2017

In his president’s address at the annual RSNA meeting in Chicago, Richard L. Ehman, MD, posed the following rhetorical question: “Is it time to reinvent radiology?” The 103rd president of the RSNA left no doubt that he believes the time is now, and he urged, cajoled, and implored radiologists to roll up their sleeves and engage in the transformation of the specialty.

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News from around the coalition and beyond

Hub is the monthly newsletter published for the membership of Strategic Radiology practices. It includes coalition and practice news as well as news and commentary of interest to radiology professionals.

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