Radiology has long been at the forefront of telemedicine, and now it is paving the way into another area of medicine…auctions! Enter Telerays radiology auction service, where batches of studies are auctioned off to the radiologist with the lowest bid. That doesn’t sound very reassuring until you read through the company’s reassuring credentialing process.
The radiologists are recruited from across the US in what appears to be a win-win proposition. For physicians, the Telerays system allows for as much or as little work, when and where they want, while simplifying billing arrangements. For hospitals, it adds access to radiologists, including sub-specialists (that may not be available in a smaller center) while potentially allowing for cost savings as well.
From the press announcement by Telerays:
Houston-based Radiologist Daniel Roubein, M.D., founder of Telerays says “Teleradiology was a radical step for the industry, but now serves requests on a routine basis. It provides a safe, easy way to find quality talent at fair prices. And it gives control back to the radiologists to set the fees and accept the cases they want."
His first step was to credential radiologists nationwide and he has had great response…500 inquiries after one week. Telerays’ processes are HIPAA compliant and protect all private health information. Credentialing can take from seven to 30 days and there is no membership fee for doctors or clients. Only radiologists pre-approved by the hospital and imaging centers and fully credentialed with Telerays can bid on the contracts.
To start the bidding process, clients post their requests and all radiologists pre-qualified by them receive an email invitation to bid. The lowest bidder wins the contract, downloads the cases and uploads the final radiology reports. There are no possible delays in diagnosis because the bidding process is settled months in advance “The system has advantages for all parties,” said Dr. Roubein. “Hospitals and imaging centers benefit from market competition that gives them the best price for radiology interpretation services at any given time. By having access to a larger qualified network of radiologists, hospitals and imaging centers can negotiate a better price. There are cost-savings before the bidding even starts as we eliminate the preliminary report,” he added. Telerays provides only final reports.
For radiologists, Telerays reduces the middleman cost and gives a larger portion of the interpretation fee back to the doctor. Most services take up to 50%; Telerays takes 15% and also handles billing.