Liaison for Publications and Communications, Hickory, NC A nationally recognized expert on radiology economics and reimbursement, William T. Thorwarth Jr., MD has practiced radiology for over 25 years with Catawba Radiological Associates in Hickory, N.C., where he also serves the Frye Regional Medical Center, Catawba Valley Medical Center and Caldwell Memorial Hospital.
Dr Thorwarth has been an RSNA member since his residency and has been a long-time volunteer. He helped found the Visionaries in Practice (VIP) program for the RSNA Research & Education (R&E) Foundation and served as VIP committee chair from 2004 to 2009. He also has served on the R&E Fund Development and 25th Anniversary Campaign Committees and completed a three-year term on R&E Board of Trustees in 2009.
"Radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and all of the related professionals are at a pivotal time in reaffirming our critical role in high quality and cost efficient healthcare delivery," said Dr Thorwarth. "We all need to be active, not passive, participants in crafting the future and look for opportunities not only to expand our knowledge and improve our individual practices but also to ensure our preeminence in the fields of diagnostic imaging, minimally invasive therapies and radiation oncology."
RSNA Board of Directors member Sarah S.Donaldson, MD said Dr Thorwarth’s perspective as a diagnostic radiologist in a private practice community group, as well as his leadership skills and involvement in other organizations, such as the American College of Radiology (ACR), is an asset to RSNA.
"The strength of the Board is its diversity, reflecting the diversity of the RSNA membership," Dr Donaldson said. "Bill is a terrific communicator. He is an eloquent speaker and skilled at delivering a message. He has spoken effectively for radiology on Capitol Hill. He will greatly assist RSNA in listening to our diverse membership and integrating their thoughts and concerns so the Board can best address and represent all members. It is a privilege for me to welcome him to the Board."
Dr Thorwarth said that RSNA has been an integral part of his life for more than 25 years he looks forward to his new responsibilities.
"From my first issue of Radiology as a radiology resident, through my first attendance at the RSNA annual meeting in 1983 to my recent involvement with the RSNA R&E Board of Trustees, RSNA has always been a cornerstone of my radiology education and practice experience," he said. "The full spectrum of RSNA publications and methods of communication leaves no stone unturned. Regardless of the topic or subset of information you seek relative to radiology, the RSNA portfolio of offerings provides members and others in the field with the most current information available. There is no doubt that in a specialty and profession as dynamic as radiology, immediate access to up-to-date information regarding both science and clinical practice is critical to success."
Dr Thorwarth received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and his MD degree from Dartmouth Medical School, both in Hanover, N.H. He completed an internal medicine internship and a junior resident year at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa., and his diagnostic radiology residency at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.
Dr Thorwarth's areas of expertise include radiology coding, nomenclature and the physician reimbursement relative value scale. In 2007, he became the first radiologist to chair the AMA Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Editorial Pane, completing his two term limit in June 2011.
In 2004, ACR created the William T. Thorwarth Jr., MD, Award and named him as its first recipient. The award honors ACR members or personnel who show excellence in the field of economics and health policy by way of leadership, diplomacy and integrity. Dr Thorwarth served as chair of the ACR Commission on Economics from 1999 to 2004, as ACR president from 2003 to 2004 and on more than a dozen other ACR committees at the local and national levels. He is an ACR Fellow and Gold Medalist.
Other awards Dr Thorwarth has received include the Silver Medal Award from the North Carolina Radiological Society and honorary membership in the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).
He also has served a number of other radiology and medical organizations, mainly in the areas of reimbursement and economics, and has been a leader in the medical institutions in which he works. The dozens of lectures and publications presented by Dr Thorwarth center on issues of radiology economics, including an April 2008 article authored in the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR), “CPT: An Open System That Describes All That You Do." Dr Thorwarth has served on the JACR editorial board, as well as those of ACR Coding Source, AMA-ACR Clinical Examples in Radiology and AMA CPT Assistant.