Radiology in the Era of Value-based Healthcare

Acknowledging radiology’s central role in value-based healthcare is essential

A multi-society paper published in Radiology and co-published in several global radiology journals, describes the place of radiology in Value-Based Healthcare (VBH) models and the health-care value contributions of radiology.

VBH is designed to improve individual health care outcomes without increasing expenditure and is increasingly being used to determine resourcing of and reimbursement for medical services. Radiology is a major contributor to patient and societal health care at many levels. Despite this, some VBH models do not acknowledge radiology’s central role; this may have future negative consequences for resource allocation.

Radiology’s contribution to health care is broad, encompassing many aspects that go beyond traditional study report creation. Objectifying this contribution by stating the impact on therapeutic decisions, patient outcomes and societal benefits ensures radiologists’ future role.

Radiologists, working singly or as parts of collective departments, must understand the principles underpinning cost allocation and the value-chain concept, according to the authors, and must take VBH into account when planning, developing and delivering their services.

By embracing VBH principles, and striving to create value where possible, radiology can contribute greatly to moving from a volume-driven system to a value-driven one, where as many investigations or interventions as possible contribute positively to patient outcomes. This will require renewed willingness on the part of radiologists to participate in team-based clinical decision-making with other specialists. It will also require willingness on the part of referrers to work with radiologists to ensure the most appropriate use of radiology resources, services and personnel.

For More Information

Access the Radiology special communication paper, “Radiology in the Era of Value-based Healthcare: A Multi-Society Expert Statement from the ACR, CAR, ESR, IS3R, RANZCR, and RSNA.”

This article is co-published in Insights into Imaging, the Canadian Association of Radiologists Journal, the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology and the Journal of the American College of Radiology.