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Teleradiology 2013

Teleradiology 2013
Serving the Emergency Department

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As government regulations expand and reimbursements shrink, some radiology groups are considering bringing night and weekend reads back in-house, and a few have already made the leap. Hospitals looking to save some money are contracting directly with teleradiology firms. Providers are looking for teleradiology firms to demonstrate their value and offer excellent service. Which vendors can take care of ED needs best? Who has the best report quality and is most consistent with turnaround times? KLAS spoke with 213 providers to find out.

TELERADIOLOGY 2013
Serving the Emergency Department


Report Author: Brady Heiner

As government regulations expand and reimbursements shrink, some radiology groups are considering bringing night and weekend reads back in-house, and a few have already made the leap. Hospitals looking to save some money are contracting directly with teleradiology firms. Providers are looking for teleradiology firms to demonstrate their value and offer excellent service. Which vendors can take care of ED needs best? Who has the best report quality and is most consistent with turnaround times? KLAS spoke with 213 providers to find out.



WORTH KNOWING

STATRAD, RAYS, AND TRS IN A TIGHT RACE FOR BEST REPORT QUALITY These top performers show stellar report quality is tied to overall satisfaction and all three have improved since the 2011 report. StatRad clients said that reports are very consistent no matter which physician reads them. TRS reports are also described as consistent. Rays customers said there were few discrepancies and that reports are thorough but concise. On the other end of the spectrum, regional players Alta Vista and RadNet have room to improve their report quality. Alta Vista customers said they find misreads periodically, and RadNet customers said that reports are sometimes not detailed enough. Overall, great reports strike a balance between detail, accuracy, and brevity.

ALTA VISTA, RADNET, & ONRAD NEED TO WORK BETTER WITH THE ED To stay competitive in teleradiology, vendors have to be able to meet the needs of the ED. Providers noted two major issues that are negatively affecting ED satisfaction. One is turnaround times for stat reads, and the other is communication and setting expectations with the ED. Generally, the vendors who keep the ED in the loop, specifically StatRad, vRad, and Rays, are able to maintain higher satisfaction. Alta Vista, ONRAD and RadNet struggle the most in meeting ED needs.

HITTING EXPECTATIONS WITH TURNAROUND TIMES IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SPEED ONRAD has great turnaround times, but this is not reflected in their overall performance score because they do not set proper expectations. On the other hand, vRad and TRS customers are very pleased with turnaround times that are on average slower than ONRAD’s. TRS and vRad are hitting expectations with their customers, and therefore those customers are overall more satisfied even though their preliminary reports take a little longer.

REGIONAL SPECIALIZATION DOES NOT MEAN REGIONAL SUCCESS All three regional vendors, Alta Vista, ONRAD, and RadNet, perform at or near the bottom in their respective geographies despite their focus in those regions.



KLAS Report: Teleradiology 2013

BOTTOM LINE ON VENDORS

RANKED—FULLY RATED
RAYS—Highest performer in a high-performing market. Excellent communication, and service is proactive. Clients impressed by report quality. Preliminary read turnaround times not quickest but meeting expectations. Performs well with the ED, who is happy with stat read turnaround times. Clients concentrated in the Southeast. Full-service firm, offering on-site radiologists. Hospitals own 37% of the contracts with Rays.

STATRAD—One-hundred percent of preliminary reads done under 30 minutes. Maintains excellent report quality even with quick turnaround. Highest ED satisfaction. Great value for providers. Providers appreciate communication and involvement from StatRad staff and are most likely to recommend.

TRS—Radiology groups see the offshore company as less of a competitive threat to their hospital accounts. Maintains turnaround times under 30 minutes for 56% of clients and sets expectations well. Providers get excellent value. No major problems with offshore operations—in fact one of the highest scores for access to reading physicians.
  
VRAD—Overall performance improved over past three years. Not offering the quickest turnaround times, but provider expectations are met. Report quality has improved; communication more proactive and better interaction with the ED. Nearly 40% of contracts are with hospitals, which is one of the highest in the study and a red flag for some radiology groups.

REGIONAL AND NON-RANKED
ALTA VISTA—Inconsistent preliminary read turnaround times. Best with access to reading physicians, and good ED satisfaction due to open lines of communication. Some quality issues with misreads. Lowest rating for handling provider’s volume flexibility. Most customers are in the central U.S.; Alta Vista stands to lose some customers.
  
ONRAD—Consistently quick turnaround times for preliminary and stat reads—almost all under 30 minutes. Many still receiving faxed reports, though setup is adequate for most. Ratings for access to reading physician and ED satisfaction lower than those of ranked vendors. Small hiccups with executive involvement and communication. Largest proportion of hospital-owned contracts (50%). Clients mostly in western U.S.
  
RADNET—Lowest overall performance in the study. A few customers indicated moving to a new vendor. RadNet not creating value for clients—several feel nickel-and-dimed. Turnaround times not as quick as other vendors’, and the technology earns the lowest rating by far. Physician access is not meeting needs because it is typically through an intermediary. Clients are concentrated in the northeastern U.S.

RADISPHERE—Found primarily in ambulatory setting. Primarily specializing in subspecialty reads; doing more final reads than other vendors. Final read quality is good, but turnaround time for preliminary reads is much longer than average—only 36% under 30 minutes. Access to reading physician and communication are lacking.





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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2018 KLAS Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.