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INDUSTRY WATCH

Portable X-ray is valuable player at championship bowl game

RADIOLOGY

GE mobile, digital X-ray and por- table ultrasound units were behind

the scenes Jan. 10 at the Tostitos Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Championship Game at the University of Phoenix Stadium. The Defi nium AMX 700, a small and agile X-ray unit capable of delivering the image quality of a full-size stationary system, was used on four different athletes during and after the game for elbow, ankle, fi nger and back injuries. A handheld ultrasound device called Vscan was avail- able in case there were any cardiac injuries or con- cerns. The LOGIQ e portable ultrasound machine, which is being used increasingly in musculoskeletal applications for real-time evaluation of joint and soft tissue disorders, was also at the ready. This marked the fi rst time compact ultrasound technology was available on-site at a BCS game.

Medicare proposes new rules for right to lodge quality-of-care complaints

RULES

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule

Feb. 2, 2011 that will require most Medicare-par- ticipating providers and suppliers to give Medicare benefi ciaries written notice about their right to contact a Medicare quality improvement organiza- tion (QIO) with concerns about the quality of care they receive under the Medicare program. Under current rules, only benefi ciaries admitted to hospitals as inpatients are required to receive information about contacting their state QIO re- garding quality-of-care issues. The new rule would require that in order to participate in the Medicare program, providers and suppliers would need to inform benefi ciaries of their right to complain to a QIO about quality of care, as well as how to contact their local QIO.

One of the key tools QIOs use to improve quality of care is responding to complaints from Medicare benefi ciaries regarding the care they receive from Medicare-participating providers and suppliers. QIOs investigate these complaints, gather facts from all parties involved and recommend action to help providers and suppliers improve quality of care.

The following care settings are impacted by this proposal:

• Clinics, rehabilitation agencies and public health agencies that provide outpatient physical therapy and speech-language-pathology services;

“This equipment allows us to get im- mediate results for players that are in- jured,” says Patrick Anderson, radiology technologist for the Tostitos BCS cham- pionship game. “The physicians are able to evaluate on the spot, give the players im- mediate results and determine if they can go back on the fi eld soon or get them treatment should they need it.”

GE Healthcare X-ray application specialists Steve Miyoshi (l.) and Rob Lowery man the Defi nium AMX 700 mobile X-ray unit at the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game.

6 March 2011

• Comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facili- ties;

• Critical access hospitals; • Home health agencies; • Hospices; • Hospitals; • Long-term care facilities; • Ambulatory surgical centers; • Portable X-ray services; and • Rural health clinics and federally qualifi ed health centers.

CMS will accept comments on the proposed rule until April 3, 2011 and will respond to comments in a fi nal rule to be issued in the coming months. See the CMS overview Web page for more detailed information: www.cms.gov/qualityimprovementorgs.

HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY www.healthmgttech.com

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