ACR, RBMA create guidelines

The American College of Radiology (ACR; Reston, Virginia) and the Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA; Fairfax, Virginia) have developed best practice guidelines for third-party payors, managed care organizations (MCOs), radiology benefit managers (RBMs), and imaging providers for use when implementing or evaluating a Radiology Benefits Management Program (RBMP).

The ACR does not endorse RBMs or their approach to the marketplace, as there are better alternatives, but recognizes their current role in imaging utilization management and seeks to improve the strategies used by these programs regarding burdens created for providers and their patients.

Study identifies genetic connection, stroke risk

Scientists have identified a previously unknown connection between two genetic variants and an increased risk of stroke, providing strong evidence for the existence of specific genes that help explain the genetic component of stroke. The research was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, Maryland) and by several other NIH institutes and centers.

The analysis of more than 19,000 participants was published online on April 15 by the New England Journal of Medicine and will appear in print on April 23.

"This study, which integrates longstanding observational trials such as Framingham with cutting-edge genomic technologies, moves us closer to the era of personalized medicine," said NHLBI Director Elizabeth Nabel, MD. "As we learn more about the role that an individual's unique genetic makeup plays in their overall health, we will ultimately be able to tailor care to better diagnose, prevent, and treat conditions such as stroke."

Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. and causes serious long-term disabilities for many Americans.

New Vein Clinics of America opens in Ohio

IntegraMed America (Cleveland) said that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Vein Clinics of America (VCA), has opened its second office in Ohio, representing its 34th location in the U.S. Located in Beachwood, the new location offers the latest in vein disease diagnosis and treatment.

Sonja Stiller, MD, practicing physician at VCA's Beachwood office, said, "[We] are excited to be a part of the VCA team and look forward to offering patients in the greater Cleveland area the latest in minimally invasive techniques for diagnosing and treating their chronic vein problems. All procedures are performed in our state-of-the-art facility, requiring no hospitalization or surgery, allowing patients to be back on their feet the same day."

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