'Image Gently'program expandsbeyond pediatrics

January 1, 2009

The Alliance for Radiation Safety inPediatric Imaging is expanding thescope of its Image Gently campaign.Efforts to protect children from unnecessaryexposure to CT scanningradiation won an endorsement byCareCore National, a radiology benefitsmanagement company that willapply the campaign's guidelines to itsnetwork.

The Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging is expanding the scope of its Image Gently campaign. Efforts to protect children from unnecessary exposure to CT scanning radiation won an endorsement by CareCore National, a radiology benefits management company that will apply the campaign's guidelines to its network.

Dr. Donald P. Frush, chair of the American College of Radiology Pediatric Commission and a member of the Alliance's steering committee, outlined the program's expansion plans in an interview with Diagnostic Imaging. The campaign was originally designed to reach technologists, imaging physicists, and radiologists, but the scope has been expanded to embrace individuals, groups, and agencies involved in pediatric healthcare around the world. Frush cited several of the group's aims for 2009 and beyond, such as bringing on board nuclear medicine, fluoroscopy, angiography, and radiography; preparing a radiation safety brochure for parents; reaching out to a wider pediatric subspecialty audience, such as surgeons and cardiologists; and expanding its international efforts. "Both from an individual and from an organizational basis, [the campaign] has been able to maintain its momentum and address its original objectives, which are to improve or maintain excellent image quality and diagnostic information with strong consideration in managing radiation dose," Frush said.

CareCore, in Bluffton, SC, has mandated that each member group have at least one physician sign on to the Image Gently campaign and incorporate all of the program's principles into its practice, said CareCore vice president and senior medical director Dr. Joel Canter.

Image Gently guidelines will not be a part of CareCore's preauthorization process. But individual groups will have to participate in the educational and awareness campaign to be allowed in the network, Canter said.

"When we do our biennial site review, we will check to make sure that all of the requirements of the program have, in fact, been incorporated within each of the groups," he said.

CareCore manages radiology services for about 25 health insurers covering about 28 million beneficiaries. Its clients include Aetna, HealthNet, United Healthcare, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in New Jersey and Alabama.