Liaison for Publications and Communications, Hickory, NC
William T. Thorwarth Jr., M.D., RSNA Board of Directors Liaison for Publications and Communications, is a nationally recognized expert on radiology economics and reimbursement. For the past 29 years, Dr. Thorwarth has practiced radiology 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 is 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 the R&E Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2009.
“Radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related professionals are at a pivotal time in reaffirming our critical role in high-quality and cost efficient healthcare delivery,” Dr. Thorwarth said. “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.”
Dr. Thorwarth said that RSNA has been an integral part of his life for more than 25 years, and he looks forward to his Board of Directors 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 Directors, 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 leave 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 medical 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 American Medical Association (AMA) Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Editorial Panel, a position he held until 2011.
In 2004, the American College of Radiology (ACR) created the William T. Thorwarth, Jr., M.D., 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.
Dr. Thorwarth has also received the Silver Medal Award from the North Carolina Radiological Society and honorary membership in the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).
He has been involved with a number of other radiology and medical organizations, mainly in the areas of reimbursement and economics. Dr. Thorwarth has presented dozens of lectures and authored numerous publications centering on issues of radiology economics, including a September 2009 article he co-authored in the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR), “Radiology Coding, Reimbursement, and Economics: A Practical Playbook for Housestaff.” 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.