Interventional oncology turns profit for rad groups

August 1, 2005

Interventional oncology practices can provide radiology departments with generous revenue despite the costly investment required to provide image-guided therapies.

Interventional oncology practices can provide radiology departments with generous revenue despite the costly investment required to provide image-guided therapies.

Dr. Catherine Tuite and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania reviewed data from 68 patients who underwent radiofrequency ablation of liver tumors at Penn's outpatient interventional radiology clinic from 1999 to 2003. They recorded all aspects involved with the management of interventional oncology patients, including initial consultation, diagnostic imaging, intervention, and follow-up.

The relative value units drawn against standard payment rates from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services provided the department with total professional revenue of $7000 and $10,000 per each new ablation and chemoembolization patient, respectively. The average revenue to the radiology practice totaled more than $120,000 annually, coauthor Dr. Michael C. Soulen said at the meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology in April.