August 26, 2015 – Imaging Specialists today announced that it added new state-of-the-art breast imaging technology called 3D breast tomosynthesis for better breast cancer detection. The facility’s 3D mammography solution takes aim at improving breast cancer detection, reducing false-positive findings and reducing the need for additional tests.
3D mammogram technology is proven to detect breast cancer better than traditional 2D mammography alone. 3D mammography takes 25 images of the breast from many angles as the X-ray tube moves across the breast in a 50-degree arc. At Imaging Specialists 3D mammography is used in conjunction with digital mammography, computer aided detection (iCAD), and subspecialty trained radiologists. “The result is an unsurpassed weapon to fight breast cancer,” says Dr. Jon Carmain.
The 3D image sees clearly through breast tissue that may be overlapping, or through the tissue of women with dense breasts. “Clinical data demonstrates that the addition of 3D breast tomosynthesis to a patient’s traditional 2D digital mammogram increases detection of breast tumors. Earlier detection and diagnosis of small tumors is the key to surviving breast cancer,” says Dr. Carmain. “We are better able to target the size, shape and location of a tumor as well.”
3D mammography is ideal for women with dense breast tissue and women who have had prior biopsy or surgery. Patients continue to receive results immediately and speak with a breast-imaging radiologist who is on site to interpret images. Our technologists and providers completed special training and certification on the 3D breast tomosynthesis technology prior to offering the service publicly.
To schedule 3D mammography at Imaging Specialists, call 843-881-4020 or request and appointment online at ImagingSC.com. Many insurance plans cover. Affordable self-pay rates are available.
Imaging Specialists leads the way in the latest information technology to automate prior-authorization and making referring easier
Merge Healthcare Launches New Business Unit to Automate Prior-Authorization and Improve Referral Success
iConnect Network Services Reduces Operational Overhead Costs Via Delivery of Electronic Orders, Prior-Authorization Automation, and Imaging Results
CHICAGO, April 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Merge Healthcare Incorporated (Nasdaq:MRGE), a leading provider of innovative enterprise imaging, interoperability, and clinical systems that seek to advance healthcare, today announced the launch of a new business unit, iConnect Network Services, to deliver interoperability services to healthcare enterprises seeking to reduce the labor and overhead costs associated with prior-authorization processes, improve physician engagement among provider communities, and boost referral success. In an age of consolidation, accountable care, and narrow networks, health systems must have a better handle on the appropriateness and efficiency of the most valuable referrals in their network.
Local physicians warn that kids in school aren’t the only ones that should be doing their homework. In fact, taking a few extra minutes to price compare for some medical services could save patients time and money. Dr. Michael Garovich, President of Imaging Specialists, explains, “It is worth the time and effort to shop around when it comes to imaging services. Prices differ depending on the facility a patient chooses for their imaging needs.”
Pricing for imaging services like x-rays, ultrasounds, mammograms, CT’s and MRI’s can vary hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on the facility.
This time of year many patients find themselves at the beginning of an insurance coverage plan where the deductible is not yet met. Another point to remember for those insured is to inquire about the contracted rate. States Dr. Garovich, “High deductible plan patients definitely want to do their homework. Contracted rates can vary greatly. This can translate to savings that directly benefit the patient.” Overall, Dr. Garovich says it is important to remember that it is the patient’s right to choose where to receive their medical needs. “The doctors who own our imaging center made a choice to offer low prices and high end technology. We live here and answer to patients that are our neighbors, friends and family.”
Transparency is an increasingly important term. Similar to a window that is transparent, a patient should be able to see in to a facility’s pricing just as easily. Patients often don’t realize that facilities that are not privately owned have more than one fee that will be charged. For example, hospitals have multiple charges, or “hidden” fees, in addition to the institution’s fee for the actual exam. Watch out for hidden fees and always ask for the “combined” charges. “We make it easy to call and just ask what an exam will cost. It’s as simple as that to know what to expect,” says Vicki Richter, Director of Imaging Specialists. “It makes a difference what insurance you have, where you are with your individual deductible, or if you are a self pay patient. Either way, we find the answer for patients so there are no surprises following the exam. The surprise usually happens when the patient realizes how much lower our prices are than the hospital’s.”
There are a few simple steps to follow when price comparing. First, identify a few locations that provide the services needed. Some are free standing and some are affiliated with hospitals. Second, it is important to ask if the facility provides one bill. Dr. Garovich explains, “A single bill generally translates to lower cost. All of the services are on one bill as opposed to several bills received in the mail weeks after the service was provided.” Check the facility credentials. For imaging centers, look for ACR accreditations. Know the type of technology that is important to you. Do you want your mammography to be digital, supported by computer aided detection, and receive your results right away? Do you want your MRI to have a wide bore to reduce claustrophobia? It all amounts to doing your homework. Call us if we can help at 843-881-4020.
Imaging Specialists has been awarded a new three-year term of accreditation in mammography as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). Imaging Specialists was accredited upon opening the Women’s Imaging private suite including digital mammography with computer-aided detection. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women.
The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report they can use for continuous practice improvement.
The ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 36,000 physicians and facilities. Imaging Specialists is a comprehensive diagnostic center providing state-of-the-art 3T MRI, CT, digital X-ray and mammography, ultrasound, bone densitometry, and InvisiVein laser varicose vein treatment.
In the case of breast cancer, a picture is worth a woman’s life. At present, the 3T open MRI at Imaging Specialists detects small cancers earlier and with greater detail than older 1.5T MRI scanners. The 3T MRI is coupled with the latest 3-D color-flow computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) software and the most advanced breast coil available. “Together, the advanced technology of 3 tesla MRI with 3-D CAD and breast coils translates to saved lives through early detection. There is simply no better technology in the nation,” says Thomas Puckette, MD.
“Patients at high risk for breast cancer and those with newly diagnosed breast cancer are assisted by 3T MRI,” explains Puckette. “While important tools, the 3T technology has a higher sensitivity for the detection of breast cancer in the high-risk population than mammography or ultrasound. It also allows our radiologists to work with surgeons to define the extent of breast cancer involvement before surgery.”
The high sensitivity of 3T MRI has led to its increased use for breast cancer detection, assessment and treatment monitoring.
“Contrast enhancement during a 3T MRI breast exam helps to provide fine details that distinguish malignant and benign masses. This aids in preventing over-diagnosis,” says Puckette.
How does the 3T MRI work?
The open 3T MRI examination is more comfortable due to the large size of the open bore and openings at both ends. The 3 tesla provides the power for the exam to be fast, detailed and accurate.
During the exam the patient lies face down with both breasts inside the breast coils. There is no pain associated with the exam and it is completed quickly.
Depending on the patient’s specific needs, contrast or breast biopsy using local anesthesia many be required.
Some Helpful Guidelines for Breast Screening
When should I screen for breast cancer and what diagnostic imaging is best?
The American Cancer Society recommendations are as follows:
• Yearly mammograms starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.
• Clinical breast exam (CBE) about every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over.
• Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.
• Annual MRI breast cancer screening along with annual mammograms for women with a 20–25 percent or greater lifetime risk of breast cancer.
Mammography and MRI are both recommended for high-risk women and those with genetic tendencies as they may show different views of the cancer. Women are in the optimal time in their cycle for screening between days 7–14.
What is considered “high risk”?
High-risk patients include those with a family history of premenopausal breast cancer, breast and ovarian cancer, or two separate breast cancers (first- and second-degree relatives).
Patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes should have annual screening MRI starting at age 25. At age 30, patients with BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes should have both annual MRI and annual mammogram (Cancer 2012, April 15; 118(8): 2021.).
Some patients with special considerations who should use MRI breast screening include:
• Patients who have received a high level of prior chest radiation
• Patients with silicone breast prostheses
• Patients with Hodgkin’s disease
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) breast cancer risk assessment tool is a commonly used standard. Take the test to determine your risk for breast cancer HERE. Consult with your physician.
At Imaging Specialists, we take being your comprehensive diagnostic imaging provider seriously.
Recently, patients have expressed confusion about if they can choose to go to Imaging Specialists.
The simple answer is “Yes.”
You have both a legal and an ethical right to choose where you receive your imaging. This applies
to all services, including digital x-ray, 3T MRI, breast MRI and image guided biopsy, CT, 3D
ultrasound, bone densitometry, and digital mammography.
Our pricing is “transparent.” There are no hidden fees and you receive one clear bill. Whether
you are only responsible for a co-payment or have a high insurance deductible, our fees will be
significantly less expensive than other Mt. Pleasant area imaging facilities. Example: MRI of the
Lumbar Spine at Imaging Specialists is $571 versus other Mt. Pleasant facilities $3,000.
Not all diagnostic imaging is the same. Advanced imaging technology, such as 3T MRI, is critical for
an early diagnosis and a better outcome. It is also a faster and more comfortable experience.
Imaging Specialists is locally owned by radiologists who live in your community. We do not have a
corporation to answer to, just the patients we serve daily. We value you and your family not only as
patients but also as neighbors.
Michael C. Garovich, MD
President, Imaging Specialists
Thomas C. Puckette, MD • Mark L. Greenslit, MD • Joseph M. Mullaney, MD • Joseph I. Gaglione, MD
Rand J. Cuthbertson, MD • Charles F. Greer, MD • John G. McGue, MD • Jeffrey K. Short, MD
Christopher K. Moses, MD • Jon A. Carmain, MD • Joshua N. Macatol, MD • Aron D. Rosenthal, MD
Phillip A. Raduazo, MD • Brent M. Williams, DO • Brian L. Burke, MD • Matthew A. Dunn, MD