May 25, 2018

ARS/ACR Members,

This past week, Dr. Steve Penor from Hot Springs, Dr. Greg Baden from Little Rock, and I represented the Arkansas Radiological Society (ARS) as Councilors at ACR’s National Meeting in Washington, DC.

Also in attendance were Dr. Manohar Kuruva and Dr. Sam Bezold, both residents at UAMS. Their attendance was sponsored by the Arkansas Radiological Society via the Calhoun Fund discussed later.

Dr. David Hays of Little Rock and I received the honor of Fellow of the American College of Radiology (FACR) for our work on behalf of the ARS.

This year’s ACR meeting addressed economic and governance issues regarding Radiology.  Several important issues were discussed including, patient-focused care with facilitation of access of patients to radiologists, as well as Artificial Intelligence (AI) as related to Radiology.  The consensus of the ACR is that we need to embrace AI and drive its implementation in Radiology, rather than have AI drive us.  The College is optimistic regarding implementation of AI applied to Radiology.

We were also encouraged to embrace evolving, merit-based compensation initiatives as best as we can, as payors strive to move away from fee-for-service payment models.

Dr. Penor, Dr. Baden and I went to Capitol Hill to advocate for:

  • A change in supervision levels for Radiology assistance to be implemented by Medicare (not current in-room, rather

in-department supervision by a radiologist).

  • Medicare reimbursement for CT Colonography
  • When appropriate, we also thanked the legislators who supported continued full federal financial support for NIH Research and Development.

On the Arkansas Chapter level, the review of our past year’s activities and highlights included:

  • The ARS conducted a membership drive, reaching out to Arkansas radiologists who were not members of the ACR or the ARS. I’m pleased to report that 10 radiologists joined the ACR, and 5 joined the ARS.
  • The ARS engaged Arkansas Blue Cross/Blue Shield regarding their proposed Value Based Compensation Initiative, which will impact radiologist’s compensation. Jim McDonald of UAMS, Dr. Mike Hickman of Hot Springs, Dr. Bryan Jennings of Little Rock, and I represented the ARS’ concerns.  This is an ongoing conversation that is important to all Arkansas radiologists.  We expect an important update from BCBS on July 20, 2018.
  • The ARS has advocated for the upcoming legislation regarding Tort Reform in Arkansas via the grass-roots “Arkansans for Jobs and Justice” movement. Numerous physicians and physician groups, as well as the Arkansas Medical Society have given significant monies to the cause.  Most see this as the best chance for real tort reform in Arkansas for the next decade or more, focused on a state constitutional amendment.  We expect very strong opposition from the trial lawyers of Arkansas.  The Arkansas Medical Society asks that every Arkansas physician donate $500, or whatever you can afford online at:
  • Recently, we launched a new website for the Arkansas Radiologic Society,, to enhance communication amongst Arkansas radiologists. Included are payment portals for ARS dues and contributions to the Calhoun Fund.
  • The Calhoun Fund is a vehicle to sponsor UAMS Radiology Resident education. Monies contributed will sponsor educational opportunities, including funding the opportunity for all residents to attend the national meeting in Washington DC in May.  All radiology groups in Arkansas benefit from the UAMS residency program.  We ask that all Arkansas radiologists donate $50-100 each year to support this endeavor online at:
  • Another recent enterprise for the ARS is the formation of a Resident and Fellow Section (RFS) of the Arkansas Chapter of the ACR. The RFS promotes resident participation in the activities of the ARS Executive Committee (EC), giving them a “seat at the table” at the EC meetings. We’ll encourage resident/fellow input into the business of the ARS and work to support UAMS Radiology residents regarding education and ACR engagement.
  • In April, the ARS hosted a CME “Breast Imaging Update” meeting in Bentonville. Mike Linver was the key speaker, with additional lectures by Arkansas’ own Dr. Amanda Ferrell and Dr. Steve Routon of Little Rock.  Dr. Geraldine McGinty, Chairwoman-Elect of the ACR also spoke on various topics, including patient-centered care, and AI.

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as President of the Arkansas Radiological Society this past year.  I thank you all for your support.  On June 1st, the able Dr. Sharp Malak will become our new President.



Scott Harter, MD, FACR
President, Arkansas Radiological Society

Vice-President: Sharp Malak, MD * Secretary-Treasurer: Bryan Jennings, MD

Councilors: Sharp Malak, MD * Stephen Penor, MD * Kremer Nicholas, MD Alternate
Councilors: W. Mark White, MD, FACR * David Diment, MD
* Rajesh Sethi, MD * Stephen Routon, MD
Fellowship Chair: Kenneth Robbins, MD, FACR

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May 25, 2018

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