By Liz Griggs, Chairman & CEO, Next Image Medical, Inc.
Faced with inefficiencies in medical imaging management that continue to produce skyrocketing costs and impaired patient care, it’s time the industry implements available new methodology and technology to create solutions in the workers’ compensation market. In diagnostic imaging—one of the fastest growing sectors of the healthcare industry—misdiagnosis resulting in delayed or ineffective treatment is common yet avoidable when the right system and processes are in place.
Today, innovative and advanced technology delivers higher quality testing and imaging, enabling treating physicians, medical directors, and managed care professionals to make better, and more rapid decisions about the best care for the patient. By partnering with a radiology services management company, offering a nationwide network of leading radiology centers, selected for quality and expertise by a board of certified radiologists and connected via a web portal, communication is greatly enhanced and cases are expedited. Patients are able to receive an MRI, CT scan or EMG in a timely manner and scheduling is within 24-48 hours. Imaging is completed correctly the first time, reports provide the information required by referring physicians to make accurate diagnoses, effective treatment plans can be implemented quickly, and claims adjusters and referral coordinators are able to give the insurance carrier accurate data.
More importantly, the most accurate imaging read comes from the most qualified radiologist. Oftentimes, interpretations of scans are provided by diagnosticians not necessarily specialists in the area that is being evaluated. For instance, a worker may report an injury to the lower lumbar region; to get the right radiology for the right read, the image should always be sent to a radiology center and radiologist specializing in the lower back. The appropriate board certified sub specialist is able to identify the specific problem area and provide a more accurate read to the physician, who then can determine the best protocol for treatment. This approach results in the right read for the injury. Network radiologists are fellowship-trained in their specialty and therefore can produce high quality results in their field. Our extensive database allows us to consistently match injuries to radiologists’ areas of expertise so that the appropriate radiologist reads the appropriate study.
These methods incorporate the essential elements required to improve workers’ compensation: the right radiologist, combined with the correct read for the best results. Misdiagnosis leading to ineffective treatment and diagnostic testing—resulting in prolonged time off work and additional medical costs—is avoided. Rampant inefficiency and escalating costs common to diagnostic radiology testing in workers’ compensation can be stemmed, replaced with faster, more effective diagnosis and treatment and optimized patient outcomes.
By implementing this innovative approach to managing diagnostic imaging services, NextImage Medical is attaining higher quality, controlling costs and creating a more efficient experience for physicians, radiologists, case management professionals, and patients. The network incorporates the essential elements required to improve workers’ compensation diagnostic imaging: the right radiologist combined with an accurate read results in the best outcome. The next generation of radiological imaging management provides the right solutions for today’s healthcare needs.
About Liz Griggs
Liz Griggs is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and founder of NextImage Medical Inc. (NIM), which she created as an answer to the waste and escalating costs common to the diagnostic imaging industry. Prior to establishing NIM Griggs founded and later sold the largest radiology preferred provider organization (PPO) in the workers’ compensation market. Previously, Griggs worked in the Boston and New York City offices of the investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenerette (DLJ) with clients that included large physician management groups and healthcare investment funds. Prior to joining DLJ, she provided healthcare financing products for The Bank of Boston, including lending and recapitalization financing.
About NextImage Medical
NextImage Medical is the technology leader in radiology services management, providing workers’ compensation insurance carriers, third party administrators and self-insured employers with the highest quality, fastest and most cost-effective solutions to manage workers’ compensation costs. Based in San Diego, NextImage Medical’s next generation of radiology management services features teleradiology and a digital archiving system, improving diagnosis and treatment, reducing the time from imaging to diagnosis and treatment, and lowering workers’ compensation costs. NextImage Medical also offers the advanced Electrodiagnostic Management Services (EDX), which uses a network of board-certified specialists at contracted rates to guarantee quality and reduce the likelihood of having repeat or unnecessary tests. For more information visit www.NextImageMedical.com .