Demand for Women’s Imaging services is growing week-to-week as we approach October (Breast Cancer Awareness month), and patients seek to use their health care services before the end of the year. According to a number of industry reports, as well as our clients, COVID-19 has severely impacted preventive screenings, such that mammography volumes have decreased up to 93% in some regions. In an effort to help our clients address the backlog created by this dramatic decrease earlier this year, Direct Radiology now offers dedicated women’s imaging radiologists as part of its full-service teleradiology practice. The following article written by Leandra Hutchinson, General Manager of Philips Telediagnostic Management Solutions and partner in the strategic vision of Direct Radiology, outlines how Direct Radiology’s new expanded service offering can have an immediate impact on Women’s Imaging needs for Radiology Groups and Imaging Centers:
Direct Radiology Expands Breast Imaging Services to Meet Increasing Patient Demand This Year
Direct Radiology is pleased to announce that it now offers dedicated Women’s Imaging radiologists as part of its full-service teleradiology practice. This expanded offering includes image interpretation for screening mammograms (2D & 3D), breast ultrasounds, and breast MRI.
In order to provide the highest-quality breast imaging reading services, Direct Radiology created a team of board-certified and fellowship-trained radiologists to lead the program. This is an important and exciting development as Direct Radiology expands its capabilities to enable its customers to provide fast, accurate, and high-quality Women’s Imaging services.
Why is the timing critical?
As a preventative screening modality classified as non-essential during COVID-related healthcare shutdowns, mammography saw up to a 93% decrease in volume this spring, as evidenced in a study published in Academic Radiology (2020)*. If your imaging center also experienced this volume trend and associated elective imaging revenue decrease, you’re now facing a back-log of patients who have not yet received their mammogram in 2020.
Traditionally, imaging centers experience their highest breast imaging volume in the fourth quarter of each year, both as a result of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October and patients seeking to use health care services before the end of the year. Experts indicate that this year is no exception to that trend. “As a dedicated breast radiologist, who has exclusively read breast images for the past ten years, my team and I are seeing a resurgence of mammography volume right now. Our sites are experiencing even higher volumes and demand than pre-COVID as women are requesting to schedule preventative screenings that had been put on hold during COVID-related health care shutdowns,” said Caroline Reich, MD, Women’s Imaging radiologist with Direct Radiology’s breast imaging program.
Tele-mammography image interpretation is a valuable resource to support expanded capacity and faster throughput to meet increased demand for breast screening. Expanding mammography reading capacity allows healthcare providers to offer more women this important screening, reduce the scheduling backlog, while also creating a new and expanded revenue stream to recover from the reduced imaging volume impact of COVID.
How Can Direct Radiology Help Increase Your Women’s Imaging Revenue?
- Increase revenue stream through expanded capacity, to allow more appointments and additional revenue.
- Meet the demands of increased scheduling requests to relieve the scheduling backlog as a result of COVID imaging shutdowns to allow patients to schedule sooner.
- Tele-mammography allows for the expansion of imaging site hours-of-operation into the evenings and weekends to offer more screening mammography appointments, which do not require an on-site radiologist.
- Continue to provide high-quality, accurate results by supplementing your local Women’s Imaging radiologists with a remote tele-enabled team of dedicated Women’s Imaging radiologists.
- Increase throughput of reports to provide faster results & turn-around times to patients by leveraging tele-mammography reading services, resulting in higher patient satisfaction scores and reduced patient anxiety.
Direct Radiology has the breast imaging reading capacity to meet your site’s increasing needs. As an existing Direct Radiology customer, the process to begin tele-mammography services can be expedited and make an immediate and positive impact for your medical center(s) this fall. If your medical center(s) and Women’s Imaging center(s) aim to increase patient satisfaction, respond quickly to increasing demand for Women’s Imaging services, and increase your revenue now through the end of the year, contact Vinnie Carvalho for a custom solution to meet your needs.
* Parikh, Keval D., et al. “COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Decreased Imaging Utilization: A Single Institutional Experience.” Academic Radiology, 2020, doi:10.1016/j.acra.2020.06.024.
For more detailed information regarding this important new offering, please visit our updated web page HERE.