We’re all familiar with the concept of radiology and the prevalence of medical imaging – just tune into any television medical drama and you’re sure to see a group of doctors (with exceptionally great hair) musing about a fictional diagnosis over blue images on a fluorescent screen. In real life, however, the hair is not as great, and the radiology process is not as simple. Fortunately, the past ten years have brought dramatic advancements in the field of radiology with the deployment of numerous technology advancements leveraging digital, cloud and mobile applications. Still the highly complex process (image request, interpretation, diagnosis and reporting) that is vital for proper assessment and treatment must be flexible and efficient for providers, payers and patients. These challenges are what have provided an enormous – $16 billion to be exact – opportunity to make radiology work better.
In studying the radiology landscape since the early 2000s, I have witnessed firsthand the challenges in quality and turnaround time associated with both traditional on-site radiology and off-site tele-radiology. Since returning to NEA almost a decade ago I’ve been wondering why a hybrid model doesn’t exist to leverage the best of a national physician practice and the best of a tech-enabled clinical service. Fortunately, Rich Whitney, who joined NEA as a Venture Advisor in 2007, was asking himself that same question. After agreeing that this was a shifting landscape well worth focusing on, Rich and I set out to found, incubate and build a practice that could make a real impact on how radiology is practiced.
After pursing some options that just didn’t feel right, we realized that if we wanted to give this the best shot, we’d have to build something from scratch. Under Rich’s leadership, a stellar founding management team was assembled with a strong mix of physician guidance, healthcare services experience and technology expertise. And so in 2012, Radiology Partners was born.
Ever since, Radiology Partners has worked to partner with existing physician practices to build a national network of experts. These partnerships have established a robust ecosystem of more than 175 radiologists, and have provided partner groups with a platform off of which they have increased their reach, modernized their IT efficiencies, and enhanced their operational capabilities. The partnership provided by Radiology Partners leads to faster turnaround, increased physician satisfaction, and lower costs for both providers and payers – huge wins for all parties involved.
In less than two years, Radiology Partners has initiated a nationwide radiology transformation as one of the fastest growing companies in healthcare services. Today, they have announced their latest partnership: Singleton Associates in Houston, TX. This partnership solidifies Radiology Partners’ position as the largest hospital based radiology practice in the United States, and a true leader in the industry.
Timely and accurate radiology reads lead to better diagnosis and better treatment; it is an integral component of value-driven healthcare, and is most effective when the best radiology talent, the most innovative technology, and the optimum level of service are aligned. These are the vitals that Rich and the team at Radiology Partners have been focused on since they were just a few talented individuals being incubated by NEA with a shared vision of the future, and will continue to focus on as they further the transformation of healthcare. The past few years have been an exciting ride for everyone associated with Radiology Partners; in reality, the journey has just begun and the prognosis is undoubtedly positive.