Abstract and Introduction
Several months ago, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) threatened to cut 10% of imaging/interventional evaluation and management (E&M) codes in order to shift reimbursement towards primary care and medical subspecialists. While ultimately these cuts were eliminated through congressional action, they were characterized by physician groups as potentially “devastating” and having “significant impact.”[1,2]
If radiologists chose to view their payer income as a metric of their value, the “devastating” messaging from our medical societies could have contributed to a diminished sense of worth or burnout. Yet a concept known as “value chain” allows threats like these to be placed in their proper context—while their income would have decreased, radiologists’ value to the health care system would not.
Thanks to value chain, individual radiologists have the liberty to conclude that the “devastating” rhetoric from organized medical societies may simply be hyperbole. Furthermore, calls to engage with government relations on behalf of organized medicine may induce less anxiety for radiologists who appreciate value chain, ultimately allowing them to focus on direct patient care activities rather than lobbyists’ “call to action.”