Fall 2016

President’s Viewbox

by Eric Stern, MD, WSRS President

Dear colleagues,

I really look forward to personally welcoming you to this year's Washington State Radiology Society Annual Meeting. We have a great program planned that I am sure you will find valuable.

Your WSRS membership and dues do not just cover current activities and products. It is also an investment in the future of our organization, our specialty, and all of the future opportunities in our practice that unite us.

Thank you for your belief in and loyalty to the promises of our future as we come together as a profession.

Yours truly,

Eric Stern, MD
President, 2014-16

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November 8, 2016 is Seattle’s “Day of Radiology”

Mayor Ed Murray has declared November 8, 2016 Seattle’s “Day of Radiology" in conjunction with the International Day of Radiology

This year the day is dedicated to breast imaging and the essential role that radiology plays in the detection, diagnosis and management of diseases of the breast.

We’ll be holding a celebration of International Day of Radiology during  the afternoon break at our WSRS Annual Meeting this coming Saturday afternoon, November 5, 2016 at the W Seattle Hotel.

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Norman Beauchamp, MD, MHS, FACR to be honored as Gold Medal winner for 2016

As an acknowledgement of his decades of leadership in Washington State’s radiology and medical community, Norman Beauchamp, Jr., MD, MHS, FACR, will be honored by our society with the Gold Medal Award at our upcoming annual meeting on November 5 at the W Hotel in downtown Seattle.

Dr. Eric Stern, WSRS president, included the following remarks in his warm recommendation of Dr. Beauchamp for the award:

“I can think of no radiologist in our great State that has been more impactful for our specialty or our citizens. Dr. Beauchamp has been a champion for radiology and health-care quality for all in Washington—for the past 15 years. His outstanding service to all of radiology in Washington, our State’s underserved populations, as well as his meritorious scientific and research achievement bring outstanding credit upon radiology in Washington.”

Highlights of Dr. Beauchamp’s career include serving as Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiology at the University of Washington from 2002 until 2016 and serving as the President of the University of Washington Physician Practice Plan.

In the past two years, Dr. Beauchamp’s roles at the UW have included chairing the Faculty Senate and the Global Innovation Exchange Advisory Board, as well as serving the UW on the Graduate Medical Education Position Allocation Committee (GMEPAC), Global Innovation and Technology Institute Program Committee, Global Innovation Exchange Executive Sponsors Group, UW Presidential Search Committee, Public Ceremonies Committee, Title IX Steering Committee, and UW President’s Cabinet Member.

In Washington State, in addition to his work at the UW, Dr. Beauchamp has twice been the medical director of the Remote Area Medical Clinic for the Underserved, and also served on the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association (WBBA) Board of Directors.

Among his many national leadership roles, Dr. Beauchamp has served the academic radiology community as the President of ARRS and President of the Society for Chairs of Academic Radiology Departments, Board of Directors of the Association of University Radiologists, and on the steering committee of the Academy of Radiology Leadership and Management.

This fall Dr. Beauchamp began a new chapter in his career, becoming the new Dean of the Grand Rapids-based Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. As Dr. Beauchamp has now moved out of state to take up his new position, the WSRS annual meeting on November 5 will be a perfect  opportunity for his Washington State colleagues to honor him for his many years of service and to congratulate him in person. Registration is still open for the meeting. Visit the WSRS website Annual Meeting Page for full details and online registration.

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2016 WSRS Annual Meeting

Seattle W Hotel
November 5, 2016

Register Today!

Online registration closes at 9 a.m. Tuesday, November 1. 
Walk in registration at the venue will open at 7 a.m. Saturday morning the 5th.

Register Online
Conference Schedule
Radiation Oncology Track information

This year’s conference will include presentations on latest developments in the field of diagnostic radiology and radiation oncology as well as topics relating to the business of radiology, legislative advocacy, enhancing diversity in the workplace and more.


  • Dr. Matthew Hawkins, Emory University School of Medicine.
  • Dr. Geraldine McGinty, Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University in New York and board member of the American College of Radiology.
  • Additional speakers will include top academic physicians from The University of Washington faculty and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
  • A Presentation of the 2016 WSRS Gold Medal Award recognizing the lifetime career achievements and contributions of Dr. Norman Beauchamp
  • Presentation by State Senator Reuven Carlyle on healthcare policy.
  • Lunchtime panel discussion for radiology and radiation oncology residents/fellows on launching their careers.
  • Celebration of International Day of Radiology.
  • Opportunities to network with colleagues from across the state.

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Make a Difference: Please make a donation now to the WSRS PAC!

Radiologists, radiation oncologists, and medical physicists are making a difference in Washington State through their actions and their support of the Washington State Radiological Society PAC. We request your continued support of the WSRS PAC. Importantly, the first $4,000 of member donations will be matched dollar for dollar by pledges made by WSRS board members.

It is critical for the perspectives of the imaging community to be included in all relevant discussions in Olympia. We know that the substantial size of our WSRS membership and our members’ generous support of WSRS PAC has definitely made an impact on our ability to effectively advocate for sensible regulations and the preservation of patient access to quality imaging services. Your continued commitment is needed and requested with your donation to the WSRS PAC today.

WSRS PAC advocacy efforts focus on and promote issues that we all share as imaging professionals so as to bring us together and build the strength of our profession. WSRS-PAC is a nonpartisan political action committee established by the WSRS. WSRS-PAC works to support and elect pro-medicine candidates in Olympia and across Washington.  Our support is divided roughly equally between Democrats and Republicans and we make an effort to contribute to candidates and incumbents from across the state. WSRS PAC recognizes that political action is inherently controversial and that, predictably, you will not agree with every position on every issue that supported candidates take. However, while political party predilection and significant social issues can divide us, our shared goals as imaging professionals maintain our unity and purpose as an advocacy group.

Please make your donation to the WSRS PAC today and enable the PAC to engage the power of this matching pledge challenge. The first $4,000 of Fall member donations will be doubled from matching board member donations.

Donations may be made on the PAC page of our website or may be mailed to the WSRS office:

2001 6th Ave, Suite 2700
Seattle, WA  98121


Jonathan Medverd, MD,
Chairman, WSRS PAC

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RFS reflections: the importance of attending national and regional conferences

By Anika McGrath, MD; PGY-4
University of Washington Radiology Resident
WSRS RFS Vice President

When I attended my first ACR meeting, I expected something similar to RSNA: over 30,000 people in attendance, multiple simultaneous didactic lectures, and thousands of vendors. It was an incredible experience, but I felt overwhelmed and lost amongst the crowd. However, the ACR experience was completely different. The meeting was smaller and more intimate. There were more opportunities to work alongside faculty members, network with other residents, and meet the people actually in charge of legislation.

At my first ACR meeting in 2015, my first stop was the Moreton Lecture by Dr. James Thrall. I was inspired by his discussion on the progression from evidence-based medicine to precision medicine with the utilization of genomic technologies. Similarly, in 2016, keynote speaker Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel inspired me to become more involved in the deliberations of new payment schemes including bundling and capitation, and how this may shift the perception of imaging into a cost rather than a profit. It cemented in me the value of ACR for residents – a supplementary education by which to learn the business and issues affecting radiology, and how important it is to become an invested member in our field at an early age. 

The WSRS annual meetings are great opportunities to discuss these issues and hear from national leaders within the convenience of our own city.  Last year, I had the opportunity to meet Drs. Richard Duszak and Anne Roberts, and learn about the implementation of value-based payment schemes and how radiologists fit into the picture. Furthermore, I learned about disruptive innovation from Dr. Doug Green, malpractice issues from Dr. Jeffery Robinson, and patient-centered care from Dr. DJ Perry. These important lessons will never be taught from inside the reading room, but are essential for residents to understand.

For these reasons and many more, the WSRS Radiology and Fellow Section (RFS) Executive Committee remains a strong advocate of resident participation in the ACR and WSRS. We look forward to seeing plenty of new faces this year!

Note that residents and fellows attend the WSRS annual meeting for free and a special lunchtime forum is offered to provide perspectives of early-career radiologists and radiation oncologists  on launching one’s career.  If you haven’t yet registered for the meeting, please fill out the online registration form on our website.  Online registration closes Tuesday morning, November 1 at 9 a.m.

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ACR experience and “Day on the Hill” 2016

By Derek Khorsand, MD
Radiology Resident
Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
University of Washington

It was an incredible opportunity to be able to attend the 2016 American College of Radiology Annual Meeting. The programming of the conference was outstanding, including talks from major players addressing both scientific content as well as the business of radiology. A talk that I found most enlightening dealt with upcoming changes to the the longstanding CPT reimbursement system under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), including a paradigm shift towards grading physicians on a scale based on their individual cost to the healthcare system, their outcomes, as well as patient satisfaction.

The most unique facet of the meeting, however, was the Capital Hill Day. This is an invaluable  opportunity to network with colleagues and help educate legislators about critical issues facing radiology and healthcare in general. We had the opportunity to meet with several Washington State congressman and discuss issues such as access to CT colonography and breast cancer screening. Most importantly, the ACR Annual Meeting highlighted how critical it is for each and every one of us to stay involved in local and national radiology advocacy. By doing so, we help ensure that our field continues to have a seat at the table, rather than be on the menu.

Derek Khorsand, MD
Resident Physician
Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
University of Washington

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Payer Relations Committee Report

By Sammy Chu, MD

1)  October 1 had come and gone.  What is the date's significance?  That marks the end of the one year grace period that CMS allowed for the "looser" payment criteria for the ICD-10 conversion.  From that date on, you need to fulfill the entire code to get paid.  The ACR is predicting that there will be a significant number of rejections.  Please let me know if that is happening with your practice, or if you are encountering any other ICD-10 issues.  I will pass on the message to Noridian & the ACR.

2)  A couple of years ago, Noridian became the Medicare Contractor for the Jurisdiction that includes California.  They have been trying to "unify" the LCDs (payment policies) for that Jurisdiction and ours.  Noridian just presented the draft LCD for Chest X-rays.  There doesn't appear to be any significant changes between the draft LCD and the existing one, but I'm not completely sure because the LCD is over 100 pages long!  I contacted the California CAC Radiology rep, and he is spearheading an effort to get Noridian to delete that LCD.  It turns out that Noridian is the last Contractor in the country to still have an LCD for chest x-rays.  Stay tuned.

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Informed consent and its role in optimal patient care

By David McGrath, CPHRM
Risk Management Consultant, Physicians Insurance – Seattle

(Reprinted with permission of Physicians Insurance)

Informed consent is a process that can lead to the best possible medical care for a patient. A good consent discussion can improve patient compliance, patient satisfaction, and clinical outcomes.

What are the key elements of informed consent?
Informed consent is more than a form; it’s a communication process. It begins with a provider’s recommendation of a treatment plan or procedure and a sharing of all material facts. This discussion should therefore include the details of the procedure, alternatives, benefits, risks, and complications (PABRC). For most procedures, a written consent form is important, and for significant procedures, a procedure-specific consent form is best.

What if a patient refuses treatment?
If the provider discusses the procedure, alternatives, benefits, risks, and complications and the patient elects to forgo the treatment, the provider should do the following:

  • Explain to the patient that forgoing the procedure may result in a significant negative impact on the patient’s health and quality of life
  • Document the PABRC discussion and the reasons for the patient’s decision in the medical record
  • Write a letter to the patient summarizing the informed-consent discussion and the patient’s decision

Here’s a good example of an excerpt of an informed-refusal letter to a patient:

On [date] you advised me that you do not wish to undergo [this test/treatment] because [use the reason patient provided]. During this discussion I expressed my concerns about your decision and explained to you the potential consequences of this decision, outlining what it may mean to your health. To summarize, your decision to forgo [this test/treatment] could result in, but is not limited to, the following possibilities: [name the significant consequences of forgoing care, e.g., failure to diagnose a life-threatening illness such as cancer]. Again, with full knowledge of the potential consequences of your decision, you have elected to forgo [the test/treatment] that I have recommended.

Whether the patient decides to accept or refuse the recommended treatment, it is essential to have honest communication about the procedure. A provider who takes the time to explain the procedure in lay terms and answer a patient’s questions demonstrates compassion and a willingness to work with the patient for an optimal outcome.

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WSRS legislative advocacy activities for 2016

Highlights of this year’s advocacy activities have included visits to congressional reps and senators in DC during the ACR’s annual Hill Day in May, as well as the WSRS visit to Olympia to visit state level legislators.  A few photos are below and more are on the advocacy page of our website.  If you’d like to get involved with WSRS’ government relations activities, please contact Executive Director Debra Alderman:  debra@wsrs.org or phone her at 206-956-3650. 

WSRS members participating in  ACR’s Day on the Hill in Washington DC in May stopped for a photo with long-time 7th District Congressman Jim McDermott who is retiring this year.

During our annual legislative advocacy day in Olympia at the end of February, radiologists from the 43rd Legislative District visited with State Senator Jamie Pedersen (center).

Dr. Peter Eby, representing WSRS’ Breast Imaging Task Force, explained a number of key WSRS positions with State Representative Joe Fitzgibbon and RFS members during the society’s annual visit to Olympia in February.

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2001 Sixth Avenue
Suite 2700
Seattle, WA 98121

(206) 956-3650