The Challenging Future of Multimodality Imaging

Thanks to the successful use of cardiovascular imaging in all types of cardiovascular disease, and the role it has played in declining mortality and optimal disease management, there is continued demand for multimodality imagers and their services. But with the rapid evolution of the health care landscape, the field finds itself facing critical challenges that threaten the future of multimodality imagers.

“Declining reimbursement is present across all modalities,” comments Manuel Cerqueira, MD, FACC, member of the Cardiovascular Imaging Section. “This makes it difficult to provide services in outpatient settings and many procedures are being moved from office to hospital facilities. Preauthorization and test substitution have been implemented by radiology benefits managers and this adds administrative time and delay to testing. And that’s just to name a few.”

To combat these formidable obstacles, the ACC’s Cardiovascular Imaging Section Leadership Council sponsored a discussion on the future of cardiovascular imaging which brought together thought leaders from across the field. The goal of the Future of Cardiovascular Imaging Think Tank was to develop a roadmap to address these critical challenges facing cardiovascular imagers.

To achieve this goal, co-chairs Cerqueira and Pamela Douglas, MD, MACC, focused on four key areas of importance for cardiovascular imagers. Topics included thriving in the future world of value-based health care, the future role of the multimodality imager, nurturing innovation and research in imaging and maximizing imaging information and outcomes. Each of the four topics identified specific strategies, both short and long term, to maintain the importance of cardiovascular imaging for the diagnosis and management of all types of cardiovascular disease.

As for the future of cardiovascular imaging as a whole, Cerqueira remarks, “While the changing health care landscape is challenging, cardiovascular imaging as a field is able to envision a future of excellence, quality and innovation and has outlined concrete steps to realize this potential.”

To learn more about the outcomes of the Think Tank, look out for a white paper publishing next year in JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging.

Clinical Topics: Noninvasive Imaging

Keywords: Cardiology Magazine, ACC Publications, Cardiovascular Diseases, Diagnostic Imaging, Disease Management, Multimodal Imaging, Outpatients, Radiology

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