SOURCE: Virtual Radiologic

Virtual Radiologic

November 12, 2014 13:31 ET

vRad Expands Investments in Its Breast Imaging Program, Appoints Arlene Sussman, MD Medical Director

Fellowship-Trained Breast Imaging Specialist to Oversee ACR/MSQA-Compliant Program That Provides Lead Interpreting Physician Services

MINNEAPOLIS, MN--(Marketwired - Nov 12, 2014) - vRad (Virtual Radiologic), the nation's largest telemedicine company and radiology practice with over 500 physicians, announced that Arlene Sussman, MD has been promoted to vRad's medical leadership team as Medical Director, effective immediately. Along with providing interpretations, Dr. Sussman is responsible for ensuring that the clinical operations of vRad's mammography services deliver the highest level of service to its clients and the patients they serve. She also will help to recruit and hire additional fellowship-trained breast imaging subspecialists into the practice with expertise in mammography and diagnostic breast services.

"Dr. Sussman is a highly regarded breast imaging specialist and is a leading voice on issues related to breast health and awareness," said Benjamin W. Strong, MD, ABIM, ABR, vRad's Chief Medical Officer. "Her passion and dedication to her patients, her specialty and vRad make her an excellent choice for this new role as we continue to make telemammography services a strategic component of our clinical practice and provide more women access to the subspecialty care they deserve and require."

As the largest private practice in the country, vRad provides clients nationwide access to leading board-certified, fellowship-trained mammographers with extensive training and experience in a complete suite of breast imaging services, which include:

  • Full screening and diagnostic mammographic and breast sonographic interpretations.
  • Methods to remain ACR and MQSA-compliant that include lead interpreting physician services, where vRad is assigned responsibility to help ensure that a facility's quality assurance program remains compliant. It will include a quarterly review of the mammography practice, along with ongoing feedback and the necessary reviews to ensure compliance and continued accreditation. This will be a requirement for any situation where vRad is the sole mammography interpreter for a facility.
  • Providing Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BIRADS) score reports to clients on a regular basis for easier and more transparent patient tracking. Clients will be able to access BIRADS data at any time via vRad's Client Access Portal, improving their ability to follow up on suspicious mammogram findings as well as to document the process.
  • Flexible program implementation so that vRad's wide range of expertise can help enhance the level of care by filling any of an imaging staff's specialty gaps, including breast MRIs, or meeting overflow needs to free the existing radiology team to review other studies or procedures.

"Many hospitals and clinics are unable to invest in subspecialty radiologists for mammography 24/7," said Dr. Sussman. "As the U.S. population ages, cancer rates are expected to increase, and the impact of this will be challenging, particularly in rural areas with large elderly populations and limited resources. Our breast imaging services can enhance a facility's existing radiology services. Furthermore, it can help ensure that women receive guideline-recommended cancer care, including early detection and screening, regardless of their location."

"All mammography cases at our hospital are read by vRad's fellowship-trained breast imaging specialists. Because we have access to these highly-trained subspecialists, we're providing a level of quality normally found in breast centers in metropolitan areas, not rural California," said Charles Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of Mountains Community Hospital.

Dr. Sussman holds medical licenses in 46 states and Washington, D.C. and has more than 20 years of dedication to breast cancer education and awareness. She has expertise in digital mammography, breast sonography, breast MRI, and stereotactic- and ultrasound-guided biopsy. She is a graduate of Cornell University Medical College and trained at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital and New York University Hospital. She previously served as director of the Department of Radiology, Outpatient Division at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and as director of Women's Imaging at Winthrop University Hospital. In addition to teaching appointments at Cornell University Weil Medical College and the New York Institute of Technology, she is a member of the Long Island Radiological Society, the Society of Breast Imaging and vRad's New York Radiology Alliance (NYRA) practice.

For breast cancer in the U.S. in 2014, the American Cancer Society estimates that:

  • It is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. About 1 in 8 (12%) U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
  • About 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
  • About 40,000 women will die from breast cancer.
  • Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1989, with larger decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment.

Click to tweet: @vRad Expands Investments in its Breast Imaging Program, Appoints Arlene Sussman, MD Medical Director #radiology #breastcancer

About vRad

vRad (Virtual Radiologic) is a global telemedicine company and the nation's largest radiology practice with over 500 physicians. vRad's physicians and operational platform serve 2,000+ hospitals, reading over 7 million patient radiology reports annually. vRad is also a leader in healthcare informatics: its RPC(SM) (Radiology Patient Care) Indices are the first findings-based national and peer group benchmarking metrics for the use of radiology imaging. Our analytics platform includes over 28 million imaging studies, growing at 600,000 per month. vRad's clinical expertise and evidence-based insight help clients make better decisions for the health of their patients and their practices. For more information about the Company, including vRad's 2014 Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Award, please visit www.vrad.com. For real-time updates, follow us on Twitter (@vRad), or "like" us on Facebook.

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