Archive for the ‘In The News’ Category

January 8, 2014

Low Dose Lung Cancer CT Screenings Will Now be Covered by All Insurance Plans

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) gave a final “B” grade to its earlier recommendation that adults aged 55 and 80 who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke, or have quit within the past 15 years, receive annual CT scans to detect lung cancer. Preventive services that are given an “A” or “B” rating by USPSTF must be reimbursed by insurers at no cost to patients under the Affordable Care Act.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) fully supports the USPSTF’s recommendation and they are working to complete the practice guidelines that cover how lung cancer screening CT exams are performed, interpreted and results are communicated.

The Affordable Care Act requires that Medicare and private insurers provide coverage of all medical exams or procedures that receive a grade of “B” or higher from the USPSTF. Imaging Healthcare Specialists has been proactive in performing low dose lung cancer CT screenings, but now, anyone who is high risk for lung cancer based on the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) will be able to get this exam paid for by their insurance carrier.

Imaging Healthcare Specialists has been able to generate exceptionally high quality CT images while reducing radiation by up to 90% and that is why we are, and continue to be, the low dose leader in San Diego County. Our patient’s health matters to the entire team at Imaging Healthcare Specialists and that is why we are the first to join efforts in San Diego to fight against lung cancer and help our patients get the diagnosis they need to detect cancer early, when its most easily treated and to save more lives.

If you want to know if you qualify for a low dose lung cancer CT screening, visit http://www.imaginghealthcare.com/lungcancer or visit your doctor today.

September 24, 2013

Study: Lack of Breast Screening Leads to More Cancer Deaths

A new study has been published in the journal Cancer, and it found that 70% of deaths from breast cancer in a group of more than 7,000 women occurred in individuals who did not receive regular screening mammograms. Researchers believe that the findings indicate that breast screening saves lives— particularly for women in their 40s.

Researchers tracked invasive breast cancers diagnosed between 1990 and 1999, and followed through 2007. Findings included that among 609 confirmed breast cancer deaths, 29% were among women who had been screened with mammography, while 71% were among women who were not screened regularly. Also, the women who died of breast cancer were younger. Of all breast cancer deaths, only 13% occurred in women age 70 or older, but 50% occurred in women younger than 50.

Our entire team at Imaging Healthcare Specialists wants to remind women of the importance of obtaining a mammogram each year. We know that it can be difficult to remember when your last mammogram was, and a few years may have gone by since your last one and you may not have realized it. The American Cancer Society recommends women get yearly mammograms starting at age 40, and based on the findings from this study this still remains true.

If you would like to schedule your mammogram at one of our convenient locations, please contact Imaging Healthcare Specialists at 866-588-4320 or click here to request a mammogram online.

To read the complete Cancer article, click here.

September 20, 2013

Team Know Your Curves is the 2013 Susan G. Komen San Diego Race for the Cure Team of the Week!

Team Know Your Curves is being recognized as the Team of the Week for the Susan G. Komen San Diego Race for the Cure taking place on November 3rd at Balboa Park. We are thrilled to be recognized for our ongoing particpation in this exciting event. Read our inspiring story from Susan G. Komen San Diego below. 

Team Know Your Curves: Imaging Healthcare Specialists “Walking the Walk”

Talk about, “Walking the Walk!”  Team “Know Your Curves” is a combination of IHS Radiologists, technologists, personnel, friends and family.  According to the team leader, Jamie Esposito, “We are the leader in outpatient diagnostic imaging in San Diego County and we’re all about partnering with the women of San Diego County to win the fight against breast cancer.”  Not only do “Know Your Curves” team members dedicate their professional lives to the fight against breast cancer, but they have amassed a team of approximately 130 members and continue to grow!  Every year they try to get more IHS employees and family members to join in on the celebration by starting early and keeping it fun. 

Touching close to home, Captain Esposito said, “Amongst our team we have survivors, friends and family members that have been affected by breast cancer, as well as people who have witnessed our patient’s battle with breast cancer.”  So, in an effort to heal, fight and honor those who have been affected, “Know Your Curves” starts months before the Race Day raising money and recruiting.

With strength in numbers, “Know Your Curves” very large head count will undoubtedly pack a punch in the war against breast cancer.  We at Komen want to thank you for spreading the word, calling the troops and making a difference.  We will see you on November 3!

Click here to visit the Susan G. Komen website for event details.

September 12, 2013

IHS Continues its Partnership with Project Access San Diego

Imaging Healthcare Specialists has partnered with a program called Project Access San Diego (PASD) since July 2009. Project Access (sponsored by the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation) coordinates a network of healthcare providers who donate medically necessary health care to those who qualify that are low-income, uninsured patients and are unable to afford the medical care they need.  Since the program was implemented in late 2008, PASD has had $7 million in donated healthcare services, has saved 20 lives, and has served 2,245 patients. 

Imaging Healthcare Specialists proudly donates imaging services for up to ten patients a month, free of charge, through this program. Because of this partnership, the SDCMSF is recognizing the radiologists of Imaging Healthcare Specialists at their second annual Heroes de la Salud event on Thursday, September 26 as their Unsung Heroes. We are grateful for our partnership with Project Access and are pleased to continue the efforts on improving health care for the residents of San Diego County. To learn more about Project Access visit: www.sdcmsf.org.

 

August 29, 2013

Low Dose Leader for CT in San Diego County

In an effort to minimize radiation exposure, we scan all patients using cutting-edge scanning technology, SafeCT®, along with a custom protocol that is tailored for each individual patient. By doing this we are able to generate exceptionally high quality CT images while reducing radiation by up to 90%.

Our patient’s health matters to the entire Imaging Healthcare Specialists team. We are committed to providing the best quality images while using the lowest radiation dose possible.

If you or someone you know is in need of imaging services, know that Imaging Healthcare Specialists is on the forefront of dose reduction when compared nationally to other imaging centers.

Thank you for choosing Imaging Healthcare Specialists. Stay connected online for more exciting announcements.

June 27, 2013

New Guidelines for Oncological CMS Coverage of FDG-PET (PT/CT)

Effective June 11, 2013 CMS Will Cover Three (3) PT/CT Scans for All Clinical Indications Formerly Covered Under NOPR

CMS Coverage for Initial Treatment Strategy (ITS) – CMS will continue to cover an ITS FDG-PET (PT/CT) scan for beneficiaries when it is needed to determine anti-tumor strategy for the following reasons:

  • To determine appropriateness for beneficiary to receive an  invasive diagnostic or therapeutic procedure
  • To determine the location for an invasive procedure
  • To determine the extent of the tumor when the anti-tumor treatment is dependent on the extent of the tumor

CMS Coverage for Subsequent Treatment Strategy (STS) – CMS will cover FDG-PET (PT/CT) scans for beneficiaries when used for guiding subsequent management of anti-tumor treatment strategy.

  • Coverage of more than 3 FDG-PET (PT/CT) scans shall be determined by the local Medicare Administrative Contractors (MAC)

 For More Information Click Here!

May 13, 2013

New California State Law Regarding Dense Breast Tissue

A new California State Law (Senate Bill 1538) requires that lay summaries about a woman’s breast density be sent in addition to the letter she already receives from the radiologist after every mammogram. Thus, on April 1, 2013, in compliance with the new California state law, we began sending the following information to patients with heterogeneously or extremely dense breast tissue:

“Your mammogram shows that your breast tissue is dense. Dense breast tissue is common   and is not abnormal. However, dense breast tissue can make it harder to evaluate the results of your mammogram and may also be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

 This information about the results of your mammogram is given to you to raise you awareness and to inform your conversation with your doctor. Together, you can decide which screening options are right for you. A report of your results was sent to your physician.”

Imaging Healthcare Specialists realizes that receipt of this information may raise patient anxiety and result in more inquiries to you. Our radiologists strongly support evidence-based medical decision-making and have resources to help guide patients and their clinical providers to determine if any supplemental screening is recommended.

November 6, 2012

Imaging Healthcare Specialists Develops Successful Radiation Dose Reduction Program, Reducing Patient Radiation Exposure Up to 90 Percent

Reston, VA (Nov. 5, 2012) — According to an article in the November issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology, Imaging Healthcare Specialists, has implemented a successful radiation dose reduction program, reducing radiation exposure by up to 90 percent in some patients.

“In the past decade, there have been unparalleled technological advances and growth in CT imaging, with many lives saved and more costly and invasive procedures avoided. This growth in CT imaging, however, has also been accompanied by an unavoidable increase in cumulative radiation exposure to the public,” said John O. Johnson, MD, author of the article.

At Imaging Healthcare Specialists, a highly successful program of radiation dose reduction was created, and dose savings of up to 90 percent have been achieved in select patients.

“Our primary focus was to reduce radiation dose for CT examinations of the chest, abdomen and pelvis because these constitute the most frequent studies in our practice and those with the highest radiation dose. Ultimately, all imaging protocols were revised,” said Johnson.

The following dose reduction strategies were developed over months of careful computed tomography (CT) dose adjustment and imaging analysis:

  • Decreased Peak Kilovoltage
  • Low-dose Automatic Dose Modulation
  • Decreased Length of Coverage
  • Pitch
  • Iterative Reconstruction and Noise Reduction Software

In addition, the imaging facility focused on limiting double scans and multiphase examinations; performing low-dose follow-up CT examinations; and the use of iterative reconstruction and noise reduction software. A low-dose strategy for CT-guided biopsies was also developed.

“To implement such a program requires dedication, leadership and commitment. Key components include a lead CT physician, a lead CT technologist, a CT applications specialist, a continuous feedback loop and systems in place to educate staff members and audit compliance,” said Johnson.

“It is possible to perform high-quality CT at a fraction of the radiation dose previously thought possible. Using a combination of dose reduction strategies with or without iterative reconstruction, risks can be minimized, thereby ensuring the health and welfare of our patients,” he said.

 

June 6, 2012

San Diego Radiology Group at Forefront of Dose Reduction

Imaging Healthcare Specialists was featured as a progressive provider by Imaging Economics. Read about how IHS is leading industry dose reduction at their website here: http://www.imagingeconomics.com/techedge/2012-06-06_06.asp#.T8-pHxBF91k.email

January 4, 2012

Birth Defect Detection on KUSI News

Dr. O’Shaughnessy of Imaging Healthcare Specialists was featured on the KUSI morning news to discuss birth defect detection for Birth Defects Prevention Month.