Customer Profile: Micah Eimer, MD, FACCPosted on: 09.17.14
Digirad recently had the opportunity to speak with Micah Eimer, MD, FACC, a cardiologist in Glenview, IL. Here’s what he has to say about the nuclear cardiology services from Digirad.
Tell us a little bit about what you do and what led you to Digirad.
I had been in private practice for seven years when I was contacted about starting a new cardiology division in the suburbs. We were starting with a blank slate, and one of the major components was nuclear cardiology testing. Because the division was new, and it was unclear what the volume would be, we were hesitant to invest heavily in equipment and staff. The Diagnostic Services offering from Digirad was a great fit that allowed us to get up and running without purchasing the equipment or hiring a dedicated staff.
What type of services does the Digirad team provide?
We use the nuclear cardiology services and are frequently performing myocardial perfusion studies. The team from Digirad comes to our facility one day a week and typically performs 5-7 studies per day. They arrive with the camera, staff and handle all the imaging.
Did you have any questions or reservations before signing up?
Honestly, yes. Sitting up is not historically how nuclear studies are done, and the footprint of the Digirad camera is very small. So I did have some initial concerns but the image quality has been superb.
How has the service worked out?
The services from Digirad have worked out beautifully. We can request the exact amount of equipment and staff that we need. The team does an expert job of getting their work done. At the end of the day they leave, and you don’t even know they were there.
What about the Digirad staff? How do they work with your patients and your full-time staff?
The staff from Digirad has been wonderful. It’s more or less the same people every week, and they handle the patients very well. Patients uniformly tell us they had a good experience. They are very autonomous and do not require a lot from our staff.
What type of financial projection or models did you use to make the “buy vs. rent” decision?
It was a pretty easy decision. Because the department was essentially a start-up, we knew the volume would be low. So purchasing new equipment was not an ideal option. Plus, we had to factor-in the time commitment to run the lab. It’s more than the expense of the camera that must be taken into account. Things like certification, the inspections, spills, the hot lab, etc. all have to be considered. One of the reasons you leave private practice is to not worry about this stuff anymore. With Digirad, it’s a much more pleasant and personally satisfying.
Digirad Diagnostic Services for Nuclear CardiologyPosted on: 07.31.14
Recently, Digirad had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Glenn Gandelman, a cardiologist with Greenwich Cardiology Associates in Connecticut. Greenwich Cardiology Associates uses Diagnostic Services from Digirad to perform nuclear cardiology imaging at their office. Digirad provides accredited technologists and technicians, and a multi-head mobile camera to perform the studies.
How often do you use Diagnostic Services from Digirad?
Greenwich Cardiology Associates has been using Digirad’s nuclear service regularly since 2008. The team visits every other week, and they typically scan between 8 and 14 patients per session.
How do you like working with Digirad?
Their efficiency is really impressive. The Digirad staff is very professional and great with throughput. They coordinate and prepare the tests, which allows me to continue seeing other patients.
We always receive good feedback from the patients and our staff regarding the Digirad team. There is a consistent group of 6 or 7 rotating techs, which allows the practice to really know the team.
What is the response to Digirad?
The local community knows that Greenwich Cardiology Associates offers outpatient imaging. Patients and referring doctors are delighted to know that imaging can be done outside the hospital because imaging in our office takes half the time it would at the hospital.
What are some of the benefits of using Digirad?
Without Digirad, there is no way we could offer this type of imaging in an outpatient setting. When making the decision at the time, we prepared a detailed pro-forma to look at the benefits of owning a camera versus using the diagnostic services from Digirad, and for our office, Digirad service made more financial sense.
Also, with Digirad, the patients and doctors can go over the results in our office. Overall, it is a faster and more pleasant experience for everyone involved.
Customer Profile: Diagnostic Cardiology GroupPosted on: 06.24.14
Digirad recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Selcuk A. Tombul and Patti Dennis of the Diagnostic Cardiology Group in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Diagnostic Cardiology Group has been a Digirad customer since 2008, and they use our nuclear and ultrasound services two to three days per week to complement their full-time service. Dr. Tombul and Ms. Dennis spoke to us about their experiences with Digirad and discussed some of the ways that Digirad has accommodated their needs.
The Diagnostic Cardiology Group was founded in 2004 by four partners, but they’ve since expanded to include six full-time physicians who provide a wide variety of diagnostic and therapeutic services. Presently, the practice is a multi-specialty group with three areas of focus: interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, and invasive and nuclear cardiology.
The Shift to Nuclear Cardiology
Around 2008, the partners decided to pursue nuclear cardiology but were concerned about the required expenses and regulations. Not only were there costs associated with dedicated nuclear equipment, but there were also radiation requirements that would involve significant staff training and credentials. This was difficult to accommodate due to frequent fluctuations in their appointment volume.
They went with Digirad due to the flexibility, quality, and value of the services provided. Essentially, Digirad’s onsite service allows them to gain the financial benefit of in-office nuclear diagnostic testing without the cost of equipment ownership, and headache of maintaining it. They never have to spend money on equipment or staff they are not using, and they can adjust the number of days the service is used according to their appointment demands.
The Diagnostic Cardiology Group identified a number of benefits to using Digirad’s services. Dr. Tombul appreciates the quality of Digirad’s equipment and reports. Digirad provides the practice with access to state-of-the-art equipment, and all he has to do is provide a patient exam space. And with the web-based PAC system, a report can be generated rapidly in one setting, saving time, administrative space, and personnel.
Ms. Dennis explained that from a patient’s perspective, Digirad’s onsite services are more convenient and less costly. Patients don’t have to travel to a different location, and they also appreciate the professionalism and promptness of Digirad’s staff when they are onsite. And because the practice receives the reimbursement for using the service, there is a better value all around. Thanks to Digirad, the Diagnostic Cardiology Group can keep their overhead in check and still provide their patients with outstanding value and service.