San Diego, CA – Radiology services management provider Next Image Medical’s CEO Liz Griggs and Chief of Radiology Dr. Mark Cooper recently provided WorkCompWire with some of their thoughts on the importance of imaging and its impact when it comes to driving claim costs.
At NextImage Medical, we believe that the “image is everything”. Although the MRI/CT initially can be one of the smallest costs of your claim, ultimately it can have the largest overall impact and it can be the single highest cost driver in the total cost of the claim. The cost of the claim is very dependent on the accuracy of the reading Radiologist and the performance of the test. Quality measures must be in place which include specialty reading Radiologists and the highest quality facilities and equipment.
With the significant advancement in imaging, it has now become the initial diagnostic test for the majority of Worker’s Compensation claims. Due to its Integral step in determining the pathway for appropriate treatment of the injured patient, the quality and suitability of this test cannot be minimized. We at NextImage Medical (NIM) have learned that if an inaccurate interpretation is provided initially, or the quality of the study is inferior, this will result in the incorrect treatment for the patient.
Once the injured worker enters the system and has the image taken, they begin what could end up being a long journey in Workers’ Compensation, and the problems that can arise are numerous. The patient may experience a multitude of inappropriate and expensive tests as well as unnecessary surgery or therapy.
Next Image Medical understands that imaging is not a commodity, and we pride ourselves on having all our imaging studies such as MRIs performed by American College of Radiology (ACR) credentialed centers, the gold standard for the highest quality of equipment. In addition, Board Certified and sub specialty trained Radiologists interpret many of our MRI studies. Our Radiologists establish a collegial relationship with the ordering physicians, to guarantee that their interaction results in the correct study being ordered the first time, rather than being performed weeks later when many inappropriate studies have been performed. In addition, due to the 4000 imaging centers that NIM utilizes nationwide, we guarantee unparalleled turn around time. This results in the patient being imaged and treated immediately, and thus having the patient back to work as soon as possible.
This unique approach insures that the injured patient receives the most expeditious and appropriate imaging, at the highest quality center and interpreted by the radiologist who is specifically trained to provide the best quality interpretation. We aim to educate our clients that “image is everything” and squeezing the providers down just a little more is not worth the quality loss and is destructive in the end. We risk losing many of the quality Radiologists and then drive the cost down to the lowest common denominator and ultimately sacrifice quality which drives up our cost of the claim.
What happens? The injured worker gets an inaccurate read, they enter the system, they move along the continuum of care and more treatment and the worst case scenario after months of treatment, they undergo unnecessary surgery. We have seen from our competition, that when cost comes before quality, the patient suffers. Therefore, we at NIM have created a unique and unparalleled system, placing the patient first. At NIM, where the “Image is Everything”, the injured patient benefits, proceeding initially down the correct path towards better care. And thus, in addition to reduced cost on the imaging network alone, we provide additional savings by bringing our clients increased overall savings by bringing the highest quality of care and the most accurate diagnosis: a “win- win” for everyone.
Source: Next Image Medical