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Meeting Minutes

March 17, 2005 Executive Committee Meeting

Present: Dr. Abraham Dachman, Dr. Carl Kalbhen, Dr. Nandita Guha-Thakurta, Dr. Edward Michals, Dr. John Hibbeln, Dr. Gary Dillehay, Dr. Kate Feinstein, Dr. Richard Mintzer, Dr. Michael Racenstein, Dr. Ruth Ramsey, Dr. Aruna Vade, Dr. Kathleen Ward, Dr. Jay Cinnamon and Mr. Merle Hedland.

The meeting was called to order at 4:15 PM at The 500 Club of Rush University Medical Center by Dr. Dachman, who was substituting in Dr. Melian’s absence.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
The minutes from the February 17, 2005 meeting were approved after minor corrections.

RESIDENT SECTION REPORT:
Dr. Guha-Thakurta stated that tonight’s scheduled Resident Section speaker had to cancel and that Dr. Gillian Newstead of the University of Chicago graciously agreed to fill in at the last minute. She will speak tonight on “Breast MRI”. The Resident Physician Section elections will take place during tonight’s session as well.

NOMINATING COMMITTEE REPORT:
Dr. Racenstein reported that the Nominating Committee is recommending the following slate of officers and trustees for 2005-2006: President, Dr. Abraham Dachman; President-Elect and Secretary/Treasurer, Dr. Carl Kalbhen; Vice President and Program Chairman, Dr. Jay Korach; 4th Year Trustees, Drs. Margaret Stull and John Hibbeln; 3rd Year Trustees, Drs. Ellen Mendelson and Edward Michals, 2nd Year Trustee, Dr. Davide Bova; and 1st Year Trustee, Dr. Leonard Bok. This recommended slate will be announced to the general membership during the Business Meeting at the conclusion of tonight’s dinner.

SECRETARY/TREASURER’S REPORT
Dr. Kalbhen gave the Financial Report for February 2005, and the Society’s finances remain strong. He also reported that registration for tonight’s meeting is unusually low, with only approximately 40 dinner reservations made. Potential reasons include competition with St. Patrick’s Day activities, the NCAA tournament and a University of Chicago radiology resident review course. Given these factors, the low attendance was thought unlikely to be indicative of a trend. Dr. Karna has given the CRS a list of prior Golf Outing sponsors. Specific vendors will be contacted during the coming months to gauge interest in sponsoring the CRS in other ways.

PROGRAM COMMITTEE REPORT:
Dr. Dachman gave the list of speakers for tonight’s Breakout Sessions and also introduced Dr. Jay Cinnamon, tonight’s Featured Speaker, who was in attendance at the Executive Committee meeting. Dr. Dachman has continued work on the schedule for the 2005-2006 season. Four of the six Featured Speakers have now been finalized. Dr. Anne Osborne is the most recent addition, and she will lecture on a neuroradiology topic.

ILLINOIS RADIOLOGICAL SOCIETY REPORT:
The possibility of holding an Illinois Radiological Society Meeting and Educational Symposium in conjunction with the March 2006 CRS Meeting was again discussed and is expected to take place. Dr. Mintzer has agreed to serve as Program Chairman and has formulated a preliminary schedule of events. The meeting will be held at Northwestern University on the date of the regular Thursday March CRS meeting, with the symposium continuing on the following Friday as well. The Thursday CRS meeting will take place as usual, except that the Steven M. Pinsky resident paper presentations will replace the standard Breakout Sessions. A full day IRS Educational Symposium would then occur on Friday and likely include lectures on current and emerging imaging techniques as well as on business issues related to running a radiology practice. A joint CRS/IRS/CIRS Executive Committee meeting will be held at some time during these two days in order to prepare and strategize for the ACR meeting which will take place in May of 2006. Dr. Mintzer plans to have the speakers all originate from within the state of Illinois, and he will present a preliminary program for the symposium at the April CRS Executive Committee meeting.

FELLOWSHIP COMMITTEE:
Dr. Dillehay stated that he has received one application for ACR fellowship so far this year, with the deadline quickly approaching.

OLD BUSINESS:
Dr. Racenstein reported that an ad hoc committee consisting of himself and Drs. Ellen Mendelson, Gillian Newstead and Edward Hendrick met with Blue Cross/Blue Shield on March 15 to discuss recent reimbursement denials for breast MRI when ordered for cancer staging. Dr. Racenstein thought that the meeting went very well and expects BC/BS to routinely reimburse for these procedures in the future and to even reverse some prior denials.

NEW BUSINESS:
Dr. Ramsey announced to any interested parties that the Illinois Civic Justice League will be discussing medical liability issues at the Illinois State Medical Society headquarters on March 30. She also reported that the Carrier Advisory Committee is working on obtaining routine reimbursement for virtual colonoscopy.

Dr. Dachman reported that he went before the United States Senate the prior week to give testimony on the effectiveness of virtual colonoscopy and the need for appropriate reimbursement. He thought that this meeting went well.

Dr. Mintzer reported on a recent ACR meeting that took place near O’Hare on issues of self referral for diagnostic imaging. It appears doubtful that legislation to curb these practices (ie, a “Stark III bill”) will occur. Without any changes to the current situation, a potential long-range scenario involves the continued overutilization of medical imaging by nonradiologists leading to significant decreases in reimbursement per procedure. Efforts by insurance companies to curb self referral are occurring and may be successful. For example, a BC/BS affiliate in western Pennsylvania will now only reimburse for studies performed at free-standing imaging centers that offer five separate modalities (three modalities for dedicated women’s imaging centers). This type of reimbursement policy may effectively put some nonradiologists (eg, the orthopedic surgeon with a low field MRI unit, the cardiologist with a SPECT camera) out of the imaging business.

Having no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:20 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Carl Kalbhen, MD
Secretary/Treasurer

Dinner was served to 42 people. Following dinner and a short Business Meeting, Dr. Abraham Dachman introduced Dr. Jay Cinnamon who gave a talk entitled, “Advanced 3D CT Imaging in Radiology”.

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