Anything simplified for common man’s comprehension and consumption becomes a Billion Dollar company; be it Facebook, WhatsApp, Uber, AirBnB, Paytm or any App that occupies a home page. And vise-versa anything complicated for common man’s comprehension and clarity struggles to survive and finally perishes.
This is very much possible in healthcare too, which remains and becomes more complicated due to various vertices, technologies, specialization and expertise; more so is Radiology. It is not only complicated to common man but also to doctors to question or understand. I am a PhD having 35 long years of experience in diagnostics, and yet cannot understand why with same PET-CT we make a menu of 20 complicated tests with equally confusing rates.
I have been in discussion with many Radiology centers, to explore “PET-CT in a franchisee model”. While alluding on various aspects I asked them in simple terms, what is MSR (Mean Scan Revenue) in 1.5 T MRI. Even those who have 5 plus machines with 10 plus years of experience got “Clean Bowled” for 15 minutes. A few intelligent answered well, while the rest bluntly said, ‘Such a number does not work in Radiology’. It is nothing but revenues in CT for the year divided by number of CT scans done in that year.
The ones who do not understand argue that time taken is not same for all scans, or expertise of interpretation costs different for different scans. I am not confused or surprised at all since menu and rates are often cut pasted from neighbors or competitors thinking that they cannot be wrong.
Are we medical professionals complicating it to consumers while Taxi drivers have simplified it? At Coimbatore station, I asked the rate of Taxi to a place which was at a distance of just 5 kms, the driver said, “It is Rs. 300”; then I asked him, “Why so expensive?”. He clearly said – “Gate of the colony is only 5 kms but diameter of that colony is 10 kms. So it could either be 5 kms or even 15 kms based on which end of the colony your house is! We keep our rate to 10 kms average; in some we gain and in some we lose. This is convention here and all Taxis follow it.” It was that simple!
Why not we as Radiologists find what is MST – Mean Scan Time and decide a MSR, is my contention. Patient is not going to choose based on the cost like a mobile phone. We have invested 100 crores in PET-CT, on one single technology! We ensured that it does only one test – FDG Whole Body Scan. We did not copy the neighbor and simplified it for doctors. We kept a single MSR based on MST, and also correcting for with or without Contrast at the same rate.
We are seeing scans per day ‘Growing’, revenues per day ‘Growing’ and margins too in the shortest span of time. We do what doctors ask without any cost. It is simple now, till conventional diagnostic centers simplify or unclutter, machines will stand without adequate scans and patients will remain without essential scans.
It is time to Uberify it. It can change the way in which Radiology is practiced in India; and even Globally!