Radiology Market Trend
Current market pressures, including declining reimbursements and industry consolidation, are causing traditional hospital-based radiology groups to consider alternative strategies to remain competitive. One clear opportunity lies in Interventional Radiology (IR). IR is performed by highly trained and specialized radiologists that can treat a variety of challenging diseases with minimally-invasive image-guided techniques rather than surgery. However, it’s challenging to get a positive return by providing IR services in hospital settings. To adapt, modern and entrepreneurial hospital-based radiology groups are increasingly launching office-based endovascular and interventional strategies.
Interventional cardiologists and vascular surgeons were early adopters to this model of care. But IR’s soon followed, many by leaving hospital-based radiology groups to go into practice on their own. We introduced this office-based IR opportunity to the Radiology Business Manager’s Association (RBMA) a couple years ago. See: https://streamlinemd.com/tap-into-the-hidden-value-of-your-interventional-radiologists. As anticipated, Office-Based Labs (OBLs), as these office-based IR environments are commonly referred, are poised to grow significantly over the next decade. According to Grandview Research, “the increasing trend of surgical procedures being performed in outpatient settings and the rising incidence of various vascular diseases are among the major factors driving the OBL market in the U.S.” See Grand View Research – https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/office-based-labs-obl-market
There are various forms of office-based care that qualify as Place of Service 11 for CMS payment purposes:
- IR Clinics: Physician office designed for patient visits for the purpose of evaluation and management (E&M) before and after interventional procedures are performed.
- Vein Clinics: Physician office that accommodates treatment of lower extremity vein diseases such as varicose veins with endovenous laser ablation, phlebectomy and sclerotherapy using ultrasound image-guidance.
- Interventional Pain Management Clinics: Physician office that accommodates treatment and management of pain such as epidural steroid injections, radiofrequency ablations, facet and nerve blocks, and spinal or nerve stimulation using fluoroscopic image-guidance.
- Office-Based Labs (OBLs): The most advanced minimally-invasive image-guided office environment designed for treating a host of venous and arterial diseases, such as critical limb ischemia, pelvic congestion syndrome, uterine fibroids, spinal damage pain, cancer and others using both ultrasound and C-Arm image guidance.
Key benefits of such office-based IR strategies include:
- More efficiently document and capture patient office visits for consultations related to hospital-based interventional treatment. Capturing patient visit E&M consult services and codes for both hospital and office-based patients can provide material new practice revenue. See: https://streamlinemd.com/boost-your-ir-revenue-by-capturing-and-billing-consult-ems
- More convenient and easier access for patients. OBL’s are often located in commercial office and retail environments with close and easy parking.
- Increase patient safety due to a more intimate high-touch care environment with less risk of dangerous germs and infections common in hospitals
- Lower overall cost than hospital-based care
- Increase payment and cash flow by tapping into global, rather than just professional, reimbursements
- Increase morale and return on investment (ROI) of IR physician partners by allowing them to take advantage of their training by focusing on IR procedures rather than reading films.
- Build brand recognition and Increase IR patient volume by marketing direct to consumer
- Deepen and increase the security of community hospital relationships by considering joint venturing on office-based IR strategies
To thrive, it is typically necessary to work with professional OBL business operators to help build and execute a successful long-term strategy. Like any successful business venture, it requires strong and deliberate intention, planning, focus and drive. Such expert OBL consultants and business operators offer a wide range of alternative service options from cash equity partnership investment to simply offering advice, project management or service for a flat fee or hourly rate, and many alternatives in between. Regardless of the arrangement that fits your objectives the best, it is wise to be consider of your options.
How StreamlineMD Can Help
StreamlineMD provides the ONC-certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) software platform, and optional coding/billing services, tuned to meet the unique workflow and revenue cycle management needs of these strategies. Learn more about StreamlineMD EHR at https://streamlinemd.com/radiology-specific-practice-management-video.
StreamlineMD is a technology-enabled business service company providing cloud-based clinical workflow and revenue cycle management software and services exclusively for imaging and image-guided procedure specialists. StreamlineMD’s specialized combination of revenue cycle management software and services provide hospital-based and office-based imaging and image-guided procedure specialists with the most complete solution to improve their practice and business performance and to help improve healthcare for all Americans. https://streamlinemd.com/.