Vision to Heal Blog

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NIH-sponsored ATTRACT Trial finds opportunities to reduce disability and enhance patient safety By Suresh Vedantham, professor of radiology and surgery, the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine The conversation and thinking around how we treat DVT was dramatically changed following presentation of the Acute Venous Thrombosis: Thrombus Removal with Adjunctive Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis (ATTRACT) trial results during SIR 2017. ATTRACT, for which I was the principal investigator, was a randomized, multicenter, NIH-sponsored study evaluating the effectiveness of the minimally invasive therapy pharmacomechanical ...
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SIR’s Women in IR section led the call for IRs to take the New Yorker OR cover challenge , asking women IRs to declare #IlooklikeanIRad and #Ilooklikearadiologist . Here are a few examples of what IR and radiology looks like: #IlooklikeanIRad #NYerORCoverChallenge @AlbanyIR @womenirads @SIRspecialists @SIRRFS #Ilooklikearadiologist #iradXX pic.twitter.com/B16YLK1LPI — Meridith Englander (@meridity1) April 19, 2017 These 4 hands saved a young man's life and coiled an aneurysm 2nite. #ILookLikeASurgeon #ILookLikeARadiologist @sinclair_coco @lissapeeling pic.twitter.com/uq0T2emqZU — Mary Kinloch FRCPC (@saskmary) ...
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By Meridith J. Englander, MD, FSIR Chair, SIR Women in IR Section This blog was reposted with permission from the Albany IR blog . This years SIR annual meeting was a huge success for the Women in IR section. To start things, two of the three SIR gold medals were awarded to women. Jeanne LaBerge, MD is an IR on staff at UCSF. She has been a volunteer at the SIR for many years. In addition to serving on the ABR Board of Trustees, she has been instrumental in the establishment of the IR/DR residency. Kathy Krol, MD is a retired IR from Indianapolis. She is a past president of the SIR. In addition to serving as the RUC advisor for many years, ...
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Former Sen. Tom Daschle at SIR 2017 Former Sen. Tom Daschle discussed health care reform in the current political environment during the IR Economics, Quality and Value symposium at SIR 2017 on March 9. Despite the current political polarization, the volume to value transformation seen in payment reforms like MACRA are here to stay, Daschle said. And interventional radiology must document that it is a specialty that is high performing and high value through delivery of better quality healthcare at a lower cost. He also encouraged attendees to stay engaged on health reform and make use of tools that SIR provides, such as its MACRA Matters resource ...
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Today at SIR 2017, the abstracts of the year is presented. The top abstract this year is Short, Medium and Long - Term Outcome of Prostate Artery Embolization for Patients with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: 1000 Patients, which followed patients who received PAE, a minimally invasive treatment that reduces urinary tract symptoms for men with enlarged prostates. It found that the procedure maintains its effectiveness for at least three years after patients undergo the therapy. This study of 1,000 men is the largest of its kind to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of prostate artery e
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Today at SIR 2017, IRs from UCLA debut a machine learning application that uses technology found in self-driving cars to helps guide patients interventional radiology care. The researchers used cutting-edge artificial intelligence to create a chatbot interventional radiologist that can automatically communicate with referring clinicians and quickly provide evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions. Read more about it here
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SIR 2017 has received the first-ever briefing on the results of the long-awaited ATTRACT Trail from study leader, Suresh Vedantham, MD, FSIR. The Acute Venous Thrombosis: Thrombus Removal with Adjunctive Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis (ATTRACT) Trial compared two treatment strategies for DVT in a randomized, multicenter trial and will serve as the basis for future, evidence-based guidance on how to treat various forms of DVT. The ATTRACT Trial received its primary support from the National Institutes of Health, with additional support from the SIR Foundation and four companiesBoston Scientific, BSN Medical, Covidien (now Medtronic), and Genentech. The companies ...
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Today at SIR 2017, a large nationwide study examining the treatment of uterine fibroids is unveiled, showing that the uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), a minimally invasive, image-guided treatment performed by interventional radiologists, is vastly underutilized, compared to hysterectomiesespecially in rural and smaller hospitals. In fact, there were more than 65 times as many hysterectomies performed than UFEs, despite data showing that UFEs result in substantially lower costs and shorter hospital stays th
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Changes in health care payment models that emphasize quality and results provide new opportunities for interventional radiologists, said Michael D. Darcy , M.D., FSIR, who delivered the Society of Interventional Radiologys 2017 Dr. Charles T. Dotter Lecture on March 5 during SIRs Annual Scientific Meeting in Washington. As we move to a new era of the IR residency, we need to as innovative as Dotter was as we train the IRs of the future, said Dr. Darcy, a professor and chief of vascular and interventional radiology at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University in St. Louis. Focused on education throughout his career, Darcy has trained ...
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Today at SIR 2017, IRs from Phoenix Childrens Hospital will unveil the findings of their study, Safety and efficacy of sphenopalatine ganglion blockade in childreninitial experience , which highlights how the team used an IR-based migraine treatments proven effective in adults to treat the toughest migraine pain experienced by teenagers. You can read our full press release describing
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Demonstrating IR Value

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By Charles E. Ray Jr., MD, PhD, FSIR, president of the Society of Interventional Radiology, and William T. Thorwarth, Jr., MD, FACR, chief executive officer of the American College of Radiology With a few notable exceptions, the current interventional radiology model in many health care systems is to employ a few IRs to do specific procedures on a case-by-case basis. Many IRs want to expand on that model to see in-house clinical IR practices offer robust service lines in health systems nationwide. However, many local IRs may not have the tools or resources to start conversations with health system decision makers to get ...
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By C. Matthew Hawkins, MD SIR Economics Committee Member Many practice leaders across the country waited with anticipation as CMS deliberated and crafted the final rule for the Quality Payment Program (QPP), a key component of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015. CMS issued its final rule on Oct. 14 , which modified the originally proposed language and impacted how physicians will participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs). There are a variety of provisions in the rule that affect the interventional radiology community and SIR is working to ...
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By Jeremy Collins, MD Quality Outcomes Division Councilor SIR Foundation O n May 9, 2016, the proposed Medicare Access and Childrens Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (MACRA) rule was published providing details regarding how the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) anticipates scoring providers through the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Starting in 2017, MIPS replaces several CMS programs including the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Physician Value-based Payment Modifier (VM) and the Medicare electronic health record (EHR) incentive program for eligible professions. MIPS scores will influence ...
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FAQs about MACRA

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By Stephen L. Ferrara, MD, FSIR Councilor, Health Policy and Economics Are you familiar with the Quality Payment Program (QPP) created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA)? Do you know how to prepare for this forthcoming Medicare reimbursement reform? SIR has compiled answers to such frequently asked questions to help you get familiar with this new payment paradigm that favors quality and value over volume. This is a dynamic document that will be periodically updated as we learn more about the program and as more solutions are developed. You can download the full, printer-friendly document here . Can’t find the ...
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Service Lines 2.0

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When SIR’s services lines concept launched in 2009, several eager and dedicated groups of volunteers undertook a series of potentially daunting tasks: • Develop focused plans to guide SIR in improving the clinical care of patients along disease (not procedural) lines • Help lead SIR in implementing those plans consistently across its activities within and across each clinical area • Contribute specific expertise to enhance SIR programs and the work of other divisions The first two service lines (PAD and IO) soon expanded with the 2010 addition of Venous and Neuro and the 2013 addition of Renal. By any definition, the work ...
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IR has always been an innovative, collaborative, technology-driven field. In many ways, it mirrors the attributes of the Millennial generation of doctors entering the workforce. Millennials grew up with a focus on teamwork, group projects and, of course, technology. They’re collaboration and technology natives, which makes them perfect for the health care environment under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act reforms. MACRA rewards care provided in multispecialty teams of physicians with a focus on outcomes. With their ability to easily collaborate and innovate, Millennials are poised to cement IR as a critical team member. Read about ...
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With approved IR Residency programs now at 44, the spring edition of IR Quarterly dives into the options for students approaching their residencies. Here are some key myths and facts future IRs and program directors need to know. For more about the options now open to future IRs, check out the story on page 16 of IRQ
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Reputation management

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Your approach to online profiles and patient ratings should be proactive, not reactive Benjamin Franklin once noted that “glass, china and reputation are easily cracked and never well mended.” In a world of anonymous online reviews, this is a growing concern for anyone providing services, including and especially doctors. Just as you’ve likely tapped online reviews to determine if contractors, hotels, restaurants and more are worthy of your time and money, patients are searching your ratings with far greater emotional investment to make sure you’re the right provider for them—even before they meet you. In addition, it’s highly likely they will tell ...
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With the announcement that major health centers are investing in Google-Glass-like applications to ease electronic medical record workloads, our spring IR Quarterly article about the use of smart glasses in IR is particularly timely. The article profiles IRs who are innovating their own smart glass applications that put within reach the IR Holy Grail: line-of-sight access to chart and image scans that can be superimposed over the patient’s anatomy. Imagine: no more going into another room to check the monitor throughout the procedure, no more looking back and forth at a monitor, and no more multiple CT scans throughout a procedure (which will reduce ...
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By Katharine L. Krol, MD, FSIR Chair, SIR Payment Research and Policy (PReP) Task Force In April 2015 the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) became law, substantially changing how Medicare payments will be made to all physicians, including interventional radiology and diagnostic radiology. MACRA mandated Medicare payments be based on quality and created a new Quality Payment Program with two payment paths for providers—the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and the Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs). On April 27, 2016, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) issued its long-awaited proposal ...
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