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Improving Health Through Medical Physics

The Medical Physicist and Advanced Technology in...

Cost effective, 21st century health care

Medical Physics is a vital part of the cost effective health care of the future. Every day the pressures on health care professionals to make their industry more cost effective are increasing. Into the next century, as society and the government deal with the financial realities of an aging population, these pressures will intensify. Medical physics can play a key role in this area. Participation in your organization's program by qualified medical physicists can produce billable services, save money on equipment negotiation and prevent mistakes that can eventually cost thousands of dollars.

Avoiding litigation
Participation by a medical physicist can provide added protection against costly litigation. In the areas of both diagnosis and treatment a good quality control program maintained by a qualified medical physicist can prevent equipment miscalibration or dose miscalculation that could result in multi-million dollar lawsuits.

Avoiding regulatory headaches
In addition, your medical physics program can save headaches and cost when dealing with the ever increasing regulation of today's health care. A violation with the NRC, your state or the JCAHO is not only costly, the bad publicity can often lead to a loss of income. Wading through the reams of complicated, convoluted NRC regulations can be expedited by the involvement of your medical physics staff.

Evaluation and selecting high cost equipment
Medical physicists are involved in the negotiating the purchase of high tech, million dollar machines to ensure you get the best value for your money. They write specifications to guarantee that your hospital is getting the equipment it needs. Often the price of the machine and service contracts which are a costly part of a purchase (a CT scanner contract can be as much as $100,000 per year) can be reduced. Some of the options available for high priced equipment can also be added at no cost during negotiations.

Getting your money's worth
Once your equipment is purchased, medical physicists evaluate how well the equipment meets the specifications by performing rigorous acceptance testing and commissioning. Some institutions lose money by scheduling machine replacement on a regular basis even when the equipment is operating properly. Involvement of a medical physicist in continuous quality improvement and maintenance results in the reliable operation and extended life of your equipment.

Be sure the future of your institution is secure in the hands of a qualified medical physicist. It's the science you can count on.


The Extraordinary World of Medical Imaging

Medical Physics is helping make remarkable advances in the field of medical imaging.

Throughout the past century, medical physicists have been at the forefront of the development of the dynamic field of medical imaging. Early detection of breast cancer relies heavily on these efforts.

The image modalities used in diagnosing this disease, namely mammography, CT, MRI, ultrasound and PET, have been developed, tested and standardized by medical physicists, working closely with diagnostic radiologists. Medical physicists were the first to develop standards which have now become federal law, resulting in improved quality of mammograms and reduced radiation dose. These improvements allow earlier detection, an important advance in the fight against this deadly disease.


Advancing radiation oncology

Medical physics is pioneering the radiation oncology of the future. Today, 50-65% of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy. Each year the treatments become more complex, more sophisticated, save more lives.

The advancements have been made possible in large part by the science of medical physics. Radiation oncology of the future will demand the continuing support and contribution of qualified medical physicists. How cost effective is the participation of a medical physicist in your radiation oncology program?

When your institution purchases a new machine for treatment of cancer patients, it must be calibrated by a qualified medical physicist. This essential service is the difference between providing safe and accurate care to each of the patients who will be treated over the ten year life of the machine or allowing incorrect and potentially harmful treatment.

With up to a 65% of all cancer patients receiving radiation (at an average patient charge of $6,000), the quality assurance provided by medical physicists is an economic as well as a performance issue. Medical physicists possess the knowledge and skill necessary to provide treatments that meet today's exacting standards. Their contributions are reflected in the physics reimbursement codes 77300-77370.

Be sure your program includes the skill, knowledge and dedication of qualified medical physicists. It's the science you can count and into the future.

Radiation Oncology Physics Codes
CPT Code Description
77336 Continuing medical physics consultation
77300 Basic dosimetry calculation
77305 Simple isodose plan
77310 Intermediate isodose plan
77315 Complex isodose plan
77321 Special teletherapy port plan
77326 Simple brachytherapy isodose plan
77327 Intermediate brachytherapy isodose plan
77328 Complex brachytherapy isodose plan
77331 Special dosimetry
77332 Simple treatment device
77333 Intermediate treatment device
77334 Complex treatment device
77370 Special medical physics consultation


Medical Physicists - transforming scientific advances in the research lab to improve the quality of life for patients

Medical physicists are scientists. It is through science that they are able to identify problems and unveil deficiencies. It is also through science that they solve the problems and correct the deficiencies.

From the time when Wilhelm Roentgen and other physicists made the discoveries which led to the development of diagnostic radiology, radiotherapy, brachytheraphy and nuclear medicine, medical physicists have played a pivotal role in the development of new technologies that have revolutionized the way medicine is practiced. In today's health care scene, the medical physicist is essential to the safe and cost effective operation of any creditable medical institution.

There will be exciting and difficult challenges in the field of health care during this century. Count on the science of medical physics to help you meet the challenge.

Count on your medical physicist to:

Meet the challenge of cost effective health care by:

  • Dealing with the headaches and costs of regulations
  • Reducing expense in equipment purchase and maintenance
  • Preventing costly lawsuits

Perform radiation procedures:

  • Preventing patient overexposure
  • Limiting employee exposure
  • Bringing the latest advances in technology into your department to be used in your most complex cases

Ensure excellence by:

  • Maximizing effectiveness of new equipment
  • Balancing faster and more detailed imaging for optimal image quality
  • Continuous Quality Improvement