Q&A with AHRA president Carlos Vasquez

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Q&A与AHRA Carlos Vasquez总统

Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | July 11, 2013
From the July 2013 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

DMBN: What other projects do you have planned?
CV: Later this year we will be launching a comprehensive staff productivity benchmark tool for imaging, that we believe will become the standard in the industry and the yardstick to develop and justify budgets for imaging administrators.

DMBN: Medical imaging, like all health care disciplines, faces major changes over the next few years – from health care reform and ICD-10 to new meaningful use stages and more breast density legislation. What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the field, and what is AHRA doing about it?

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CV: The obvious and biggest challenge facing the field is the continuous appetite for decreases in reimbursement. While this is not unique to medical imaging, it does feel to those of us in the field as if radiology has been a target for many years. We have entered the era of value-based purchasing, pay for performance, accountable care organizations and population health – all these have a triad management effect and common denominator: increase quality, lower cost and improved outcomes.

AHRA is partnering with the best practices across the nation and bringing results to our members and showcasing (our) findings at our annual meeting in Minneapolis. One of the greatest AHRA virtues is the talent among our members and the mobilization to share and network. We have members actively involved and pioneering initiatives on radiation dose reduction, equipment capacity utilization and hot topics in the field – and if and when an AHRA member is involved, the entire AHRA nation is the recipient of that information.

DMBN: AHRA ran a (successful) drive to reach 5,000 members by last year’s conference after membership numbers slipped from a high in 2008. What caused membership to slip and what is AHRA doing to keep numbers up?
CV: There are several factors that caused membership in an association to decrease at times. For AHRA, in my opinion, it has been in part due to attrition, a good number of members reaching (retirement age), and the difficulty to introduce newcomers to all that AHRA has to offer. AHRA is one of the best-kept secrets (in imaging), and it typically takes attendance to one of our national meetings to become a member for life.

Reaching the 5,000-membership milestone was a significant achievement. I have embarked on strategic initiatives to not only sustain our membership, but to continue on path to increase it. Early this year we announced the Military Membership and kicked it off with Air Force membership; later this year we hope to bring all the uniformed services on board.

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