April 24, 2014 | Diagnostic Imaging

By Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Radiology group contracts with hospitals might have been easily renewed in the past, but this might not be the case for the future. Radiologists may no longer be able to rest on their laurels and expect to keep their jobs. When a hospital sends out a request for proposal (RFP) for radiology services, it can be  a wake-up call. The group might not be providing the hospital with what it needs.

Radiology groups who are surprised to get an RFP probably aren’t aligned with their hospital’s needs, said Jordan Halter, vice president of solutions at vRad, a global teleradiology group providing supplemental coverage. The radiology group might think in a fee-for-volume mindset, but the hospitals want to measure quality, value, performance and service, he said.

Getting an RFP for your own job can result in mixed emotions. “Obviously when an RFP is being considered by a hospital, a radiology practice feels that they’re not appreciated. This is usually followed by anger at the hospital administration for not realizing how valuable the group is, and then obviously fear sets in as to what will be happening to your livelihood,” said Lawrence Muroff, MD, CEO and president of Imaging Consultants Inc. in Tampa, Fla. “Groups understand that others are losing their contacts but somehow they don’t believe it can happen to them.”

Who’s the competition? Another local radiology group, a national entrepreneurial radiology company or a medical school or academic entity, Muroff said.

Consider the contract from the hospital's point of view, so you can respond appropriately.  Start with the 3 Cs: cost, coverage and competition.