Bruce Elder Named CEO of MedQuest: Imaging Industry Leader Taps Internal Expert to Lead Growth

MedQuest Associates has promoted Bruce Elder to the position of CEO. MedQuest is a national radiology leader that provides an array of radiology and outpatient imaging joint venture management services to hospitals and other providers. The company also owns, operates and manages diagnostic imaging facilities.

In his most recent role of Chief Development and Strategy Officer, Elder served as a critical architect for the growth and success of the company. In this role, Elder was a part of the senior executive team that guided MedQuest during a period of evolution for the company as well as the diagnostic imaging and radiology management industry.

“I am delighted and humbled to accept this new position,” said Elder. “Our team is one of the best in the country, whether it’s someone greeting a patient at the front desk of an imaging center or a top-notch expert in radiology operations, referrals and management. It is an honor to work with this talented team, and I look forward to continued expansion and growth.”

MedQuest began as an owner/operator of outpatient imaging centers more than two decades ago. In recent years, the company has used its deep understanding of how to create value in outpatient imaging by bringing best practices to hospitals and health systems. Through its comprehensive joint venture, management and consulting services, MedQuest improves performance and profitability of both hospital-based and freestanding imaging operations.

Elder was with MedQuest during the period 2001-2007, serving as Chief Development and Planning Officer and Vice President, Development. He rejoined the company in 2014 after six years as Principal with the leadership advisory firm ghSMART, where he advised investors, boards and CEOs on key leadership and talent issues, including executive assessments, leadership development, organizational design and effectiveness, and talent management best practices.

His healthcare experience includes roles with iXL, Meridian Corporate Healthcare and Surgical Care Affiliates. Elder has an MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Vanderbilt with a BA in Political Science.

Dan Schaefer, who served as interim CEO, will resume his role as COO of MedQuest.

About MedQuest Associates
MedQuest is a leading owner, operator and manager of diagnostic imaging facilities, with a network of nearly 50 imaging centers in multiple states. As one of the nation’s most experienced outpatient imaging partners, MedQuest also provides comprehensive services, including outpatient imaging management and joint venture (JV), referring physician engagement and service line performance consulting. Serving health systems, hospitals and imaging centers nationwide, MedQuest draws upon decades of operational experience and industry knowledge to deliver comprehensive guidance and solutions that increase revenue and optimize operations, while improving quality and the patient experience. MedQuest’s industry-leading proprietary systems and processes create an unrivaled value proposition for customers. Atlanta-based MedQuest is a subsidiary of Novant Health, a not-for-profit integrated health system headquartered in Winston-Salem, NC. Learn more at

MedQuest White Paper Details Five Areas Critical to Improving Radiology Profitability

MedQuest Radiology Management Services, a leading provider of radiology consulting and management services, released a white paper this week examining five ways a hospital or health system can increase radiology revenue streams, maximize revenue capture and streamline operations. These five areas are typically the focus when MedQuest conducts an assessment of radiology operations for a health system to identify opportunities within this important service line.

“As we travel the country working with health systems and hospitals to boost the value, effectiveness and profitability of their imaging operations, we see a pattern in certain key areas and opportunities being overlooked,” said Bruce Elder, Chief Development and Strategy Officer of MedQuest. “With this white paper, 5 Ways to Improve the Profitability of Your Radiology Operations, we bring together those lessons learned and best practices to assist providers in boosting radiology profitability.”

The key, according to the white paper, is to optimize revenue and volume while at the same time increasing operational efficiencies. The white paper details five critical areas to address, including performing a market analysis; establishing a dedicated radiology sales and marketing team; optimizing the order funnel; reviewing workflow, throughput and productivity; and performing effective imaging network management and capital planning.

One of the most impactful steps recommended by MedQuest is establishing a dedicated radiology sales and marketing team beyond, and complementary to, a hospital’s other outreach efforts. “We’ve repeatedly proven that having a team focused solely on radiology sales and marketing functions generates a positive return on investment by increasing both volume and customer satisfaction levels,” Elder said.

The job of the radiology sales and marketing specialist is to increase referrals by building productive, clinically driven relationships with referring physicians and their office staffs. Developing clinician-specific radiology marketing plans, performing vital service recovery and creating targeted marketing strategies are all tactics that the sales and marketing team can employ to build volume.

The white paper, 5 Ways to Improve the Profitability of Your Radiology Operations, is available for download from MedQuest’s website.

MedQuest’s comprehensive management and consulting services assist health systems, hospitals and imaging centers with optimizing their imaging resources. In addition to radiology assessments and management services, MedQuest offers support services including sales and marketing; operational enhancements such as scheduling and intake improvements; and strategic development and network management. MedQuest brings decades of experience in the radiology industry and owns, operates and manages diagnostic imaging facilities in seven states.

About MedQuest Radiology Management Services
MedQuest is a leading provider of radiology management and consulting services to health systems, hospitals and imaging centers across the country. Drawing upon decades of operational experience and industry knowledge, MedQuest delivers comprehensive guidance and solutions that increase revenue and optimize operations, while improving quality and the patient experience. In-depth assessments, one of the company’s most requested services, offer actionable insights into growing referrals, streamlining operations and strategically planning for the future. MedQuest’s industry-leading services and proprietary systems create an unrivaled value proposition for customers. Visit to learn more.

Executive Insight Magazine: Three Steps to Take Today to Achieve Long-Term Radiology Success

Executive Insight Magazine has published the following article from David Palkovich, Vice President of Radiology for Novant Health/MedQuest Associates and Bruce Elder, Chief Development and Strategy Officer of MedQuest Associates. The article outlines step to take so that busy healthcare systems and hospitals don’t overlook key business principles in the day-to-day bustle of running an radiology department.


Three Steps to Take Today to Achieve Long-term Radiology Success

By David Palkovich, Vice President at Novant Health, and Bruce Elder, Chief Development and Strategy Officer, MedQuest Associates

Shrinking reimbursement and increasing regulatory demands have forced healthcare systems and hospitals to concentrate on the bottom line while still fulfilling their mission of delivering the highest quality care. As a result, hospital organizations have adopted numerous business practices commonly used in other industries and customized them to meet the specific requirements of the complex healthcare environment.

In radiology, where most team members start as technologists, managers frequently have not been trained in broader business practices prior to entering their management roles. Many radiology leaders have learned on the job; as a result, they can potentially overlook some key business principles in the day-to-day bustle of running a radiology department. Among these are three critical actions that can generate a strong pay-off in the near term and produce lasting benefits for imaging operations into the future:

  • Structured, intentional succession planning
  • Providing strong, open communications on metrics to the team
  • Cross-pollinating processes, approaches and best practices between inpatient and outpatient facilities

Succession Planning

Imaging operations in hospitals and health systems often provide high visibility for radiology management personnel from and to other parts of the organization. Imaging leaders interact frequently with almost every area in the delivery system, including working with other departments to determine their imaging needs and reviewing purchasing, facility, equipment and staffing requirements with Human Resources and Finance. Imaging also involves a high volume of interactions with patients and physician practices, making it a key area for patient and physician satisfaction.

Due to this high level of visibility, top-performing radiology leaders are often transferred or promoted into roles representing the next step in career progression, commonly into a parallel department such as an oncology or orthopedic service line. Career options for these leaders increase exponentially within a large, complex health system and in major markets with competing health systems.

This gives rise to the need for an important process that is too often overlooked:  succession planning. The unexpected departure of a key leader can cause every imaging metric – from quality to financial – to suffer. The need for succession planning is particularly acute in a large tertiary hospital, where the imaging department is large and complex. Not only does a strong, intentional succession plan help prevent an operational “swoon” should the radiology leader leave, but it also recognizes employees who are delivering exemplary work. Being identified as a potential manager and participating in leadership training often serves as a retention tool that prevents key employees from seeking other outside opportunities to advance their career.

Keeping a “Compelling Scoreboard”

Communicating relevant performance metrics to and among the radiology team is another best practice from the broader business world that translates into the healthcare environment. While metrics are often gathered and reported upwards to system management, they are less commonly shared among staff in meaningful ways that influence behaviors.

In The Four Disciplines of Execution, the authors describe the benefits of “keeping a compelling scoreboard” in achieving important goals. Regularly and clearly communicating simple, practical performance metrics gives staff at all levels insight into performance and identifies areas for improvement. One of the key goals of this communication should be demonstrating to radiology staff that quality and financial performance are not mutually exclusive objectives. This helps combat the erroneous perception that as volume and financial vitality increase, patient satisfaction and quality decline. In addition, publishing relevant metrics allows team members to experience a clear sense of success, which drives higher levels of engagement.

At Novant Health, we actively seek to live our vision, which reads: “We, the Novant Health team, will deliver the most remarkable patient experience, in every dimension, every time.” We post patient satisfaction scores in the break room where all staff can see them, and managers send out congratulatory messages when those scores increase. Being able to simultaneously see increases in volume and patient satisfaction offers very positive reinforcement that these goals can be achieved simultaneously, and in fact, in concert with one another.

It’s critical to include several different metrics that are relevant to different team members. It’s the same as a vacation – one person may think lying on the beach doing absolutely nothing is ideal, while another’s idea of fun is revving up a speed boat. Employing a range of metrics allows each team member to find one or more that are particularly meaningful to them. Some key metrics that might be considered are scan or procedure volume, patient satisfaction scores, quality indicators and safety measures.

Bringing the Outside In

As an increasing number of hospitals and health systems operate both inpatient and outpatient facilities, a dichotomy arises between the two environments. Outpatient centers focus on filling the daily schedule and offering innovative services to attract referring physicians and patients. Acute care imaging departments tend to be more focused on meeting the needs of internal clients, and because patient care tends to be more complex, imaging procedures within the hospital can consume more time and resources.

Acute care radiology departments are finding that by employing successful processes and approaches from outpatient centers, they can become more competitive and productive in a healthcare environment that demands efficiency and productivity. This includes placing a greater emphasis on sales and marketing (which also includes greatly enhanced service recovery efforts) and streamlining scheduling, scan protocols and workflows.  Maximizing daily schedules, applying enhanced order management efforts, aggressively managing cancellations and no-show’s and “order scrubbing” are additional key processes that can be successfully ported from outpatient to inpatient environments.

The Business of Healthcare

An increasing number of current and potential managers are seeking graduate degrees that focus on business practices or include management components. Additionally, health systems may offer training programs in management principles and practices. For those in imaging who would like to assume or increase a leadership role, adding an MBA or management training course to their medical and technical training will likely pay dividends in this new age of healthcare operations. And, regardless of the level of formal business training radiology leaders may have, employing effective succession planning, communicating key relevant metrics to staff and adapting outpatient approaches to the hospital environment will help keep them and their departments competitive in a rapidly changing healthcare landscape.

MedQuest Finds Data-Driven Radiology Sales and Marketing Contributes to the Bottom Line

MedQuest Radiology Management Services has found that maintaining a focus on data can increase radiology sales and marketing success, resulting in a significant boost to revenues and the bottom line. This is a more sustainable solution than the more common reaction of cutting overhead when radiology departments and centers start feeling the pinch from decreasing reimbursement and rising costs.

MedQuest Radiology Management Services is one of the country’s leading radiology management companies, assisting hospitals, imaging centers and physician practices in optimizing their imaging resources. In addition to sales and marketing, the company’s management and support services include comprehensive radiology assessments; operational enhancements such as scheduling and intake improvements; revenue cycle and denial management; quality, safety and patient experience; and strategic development and network management.

“Too often providers of radiology services fail to devote adequate resources to radiology sales and marketing, leaving them lacking in critical market knowledge and vulnerable to competition,” said Bruce Elder, Chief Development and Strategy Officer of MedQuest. “At both our owned centers and the healthcare systems and centers we support, MedQuest has implemented highly effective sales and marketing programs that drive increased scan volumes and greater responsiveness to customers.”

MedQuest employs a data-driven approach to sales and marketing that includes training and overseeing one or more dedicated onsite sales and marketing specialists that actively build relationships with physicians to increase referral volume and ensure high satisfaction levels. The foundation of these relationships are regular communication, responsive “service recovery” to meet physicians’ needs and a deep understanding of radiology.

“It’s been said many times that you can’t manage what you don’t measure ,” said Elder. “Applying metrics to the sales and marketing function is a transformative process that converts those activities into a data-driven approach with measurable contributions to the bottom line. Clients appreciate the fact that we can accurately forecast volume by modality and measure the ROI on sales and marketing activities.”

Often radiology departments and centers rely on shared marketing or “outreach” resources that represent a wide range of services. MedQuest has found that having dedicated radiology sales and marketing specialists with the right specialized training, CRM system and oversight is far more effective.

About MedQuest Radiology Management Services
MedQuest provides comprehensive radiology management services to hospitals, imaging centers and physician practices that increase revenue, optimize operations and enhance quality, safety and the patient experience. MedQuest’s decades of management and operational experience, together with industry-leading proprietary systems and processes, create an unrivaled value proposition for customers. Visit to learn more.

HFMA Magazine: How to Revitalize Radiology Revenue

Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) has published an article from MedQuest’s Bruce Elder about ways to improve radiology revenue and profitability.


Using Assessments to Increase Sales and Marketing Effectiveness

By Bruce Elder

As hospitals, physician practices and imaging centers face rising price competition and shrinking reimbursement for imaging, performing an in-depth assessment of your market, as well as your sales and marketing activities, offers a cost-effective means of achieving a more profitable and better positioned imaging operation. A periodic analysis of your market environment can dovetail with a data-driven assessment of sales and marketing functions to identify gaps and opportunities; it also often serves to reinvigorate outreach efforts.

Performing a Market Assessment

Gathering market data is integral to developing and executing effective sales and marketing strategies. A market assessment identifies opportunities and challenges that are unique to your marketplace. Identifying geographic and demographic demand for imaging services not only reveals current strengths and weaknesses within the marketplace, but it can also indicate the potential viability of new locations and/or acquisition opportunities.

An effective market assessment includes an in-depth examination of the competitive environment. In addition to assessing competitors on a range of key criteria, this may include meeting with a wide range of physicians to determine what influences referral patterns, receptivity to the organization’s offerings, perceptions of the organization’s customer service levels and how competitive facilities are viewed.

Assessments also offer an opportune time to examine pricing structures and identify demand for new clinical applications that offer potential revenue enhancement. Combining information on healthcare consumer trends and new clinical opportunities with your identified market gaps can result in new approaches that spur growth and profitability.

Evaluating Referral Trends

Another essential component of an effective assessment is a detailed review of physician referral patterns and scan volume potential. During this process, it’s important to update and review the total potential physician referral base, including determining the total number of referring physicians, those that are most active, and scan counts measured against forecasts. This process also identifies dwindling referrals from a particular source, allowing immediate resolution of any issues to re-establish a positive relationship.

Using this market intelligence, it is possible to create a results-oriented sales and marketing plan that identifies and targets areas of potential volume growth, establishes core messages based on provider needs and sets expectations based on measurable goals.

The extensive amount of information gathered during an assessment presents an opportune time to institute a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system if there is not one already in place. Not only can the system be used to track and measure sales and marketing against goals, but it can also help in determining ROI from activities. This CRM system should seamlessly integrate with other IT systems and offer capabilities like dynamic call routing and real-time goal tracking and measurement.

Instituting Data-Driven Sales and Marketing

Applying results metrics to sales and marketing activities transforms what is often viewed as a “soft” area into a data-driven science with measurable contributions to the bottom line. Sales and marketing assessments that are data driven are not only more effective, but they also yield valuable insight into trends and forecasts while identifying areas of weakness in your sales and marketing program.

Assessing marketing and sales requires that measurable metrics be identified and/or instituted. Gathering information on current activities and results allows a benchmarking process to be put into place and supports the development of ongoing team and individual goals. As an adjunct to this process, it is also critical to have key performance metrics, such as scan volume by modality and cancellation rate, in place.

One of the most helpful components of a sales and marketing assessment is performing comparisons of your organization against industry standards. Using national standards, you can compare referral volumes, examine modality utilization and determine individual physician potential for revenue. This allows development of a measurement system that establishes accountability and provides forecasting based upon real-time referral trend data by modality and provider.

While an assessment is not intended to be punitive, it can quickly reveal problems, ranging from a lack of tools for accurate forecasting and measurement to the need for resource improvement. Difficulty with marshalling resources to conduct the assessment may be the initial signal that there are problems within the organization.

Employee Review and Training

In order for imaging operations to benefit from a focused sales and marketing initiative, it’s important to have the right people with the appropriate training using the best tools. The assessment process offers an opportunity to evaluate staffing levels and refine the focus of the sales team.

A typical busy hospital physician “liaison” covering multiple services lines will only be able to devote a small portion of his or her time to building relationships for imaging services with referring physicians. The addition of a full-time, imaging-only sales and marketing specialist should dramatically increase business volumes and top-line revenues. Instituting a system with measurable activities and results enhances the effectiveness of sales and marketing personnel and allows the organization to determine the ROI on investments in personnel marketing and sales initiatives.

The ultimate goal is to identify market opportunities and threats and what is needed to improve imaging sales and marketing (as well as what is working). While the process of conducting an assessment is labor-intensive, the information that is gathered, the insights that are revealed and the ability to identify and expand revenue sources makes the effort well worth the investment.

About the Author:

Bruce Elder is the Chief Development and Strategy Officer of MedQuest Radiology Management Associates,

Strategic Assessments from MedQuest Radiology Management Services Identify Actionable Radiology Improvements for Healthcare Organizations

Hospitals and healthcare systems are facing unprecedented threats to their bottom lines, challenging them to curtail costs, increase revenue and improve the delivery of efficient quality patient care. In this tumultuous environment, MedQuest Radiology Management Services, one of the country’s leading radiology management companies, is seeing greater demand for its assessment services that help healthcare organizations identify areas for improvement within their radiology operations.

MedQuest’s assessments range from comprehensive evaluations of all aspects of radiology operations to in-depth-examinations of a single function, such as sales and marketing, operations, scheduling, billing and denials, IT/system integration, and facility and equipment review. MedQuest is also often called upon to provide a market assessment focusing on referral patterns, referring physician feedback, radiology network strategies and future expansion opportunities.

“Drawing upon decades of our own hands-on imaging operations experience, MedQuest is uniquely qualified to identify and implement strategies proven to significantly increase revenue, optimize operations and enhance quality, safety and the patient experience,” said Todd W. Latz, MedQuest Chief Executive Officer. “MedQuest is more than just a consultant; we deliver a strategic blueprint with actionable recommendations and can provide extensive implementation support and guidance.”
Recent assessments include:

  • Healthcare system transformation – A multi-state integrated healthcare system was seeking to identify potential efficiencies, cost savings and revenue generating activities for radiology, while enhancing operations. MedQuest narrowed the focus to staffing and scheduling, which offered the greatest ROI within a tight timeline. Under MedQuest’s guidance, the healthcare system exceeded their goal of a $4 million impact on operating cash flow.
  • Medical center expansion – MedQuest was asked to help ensure the success of a medical center’s new location and increased scan volume 27% while maximizing the effectiveness of the system’s imaging network. MedQuest identified areas of opportunity to improve operational processes and workflow in scheduling, patient registration and modality patient flow, evaluated the management and staffing model and identified metrics for operational efficiency and management accountability.

The MedQuest assessment process begins with a data review that allows the team to identify potential opportunities and specific areas of focus prior to the onsite visit. While the team is onsite, they conduct interviews with staff, radiologists, and affiliated and independent referring physicians, and observe procedures and workflow. Following the visit, the team analyzes the information and develops specific and actionable recommendations based on industry and proprietary best practices. And finally, MedQuest presents its findings and recommendations to the healthcare organization, including a comprehensive review of the market, current operations and both near term and longer term improvement opportunities. 

About MedQuest Radiology Management Services
MedQuest provides comprehensive radiology management services to hospitals, imaging centers and physician practices that increase revenue, optimize operations and enhance quality, safety and the patient experience. MedQuest’s decades of management and operational experience, together with industry-leading proprietary systems and processes, create an unrivaled value proposition for customers. Visit to learn more.

MedQuest Radiology Management Services Expands Offerings that Increase Revenue, Optimize Operations and Enhance Quality

MedQuest Radiology Management Services, one of the country’s leading radiology management companies, has expanded its suite of services that assists hospitals, imaging centers and physician practices in optimizing their available imaging resources. A newly revamped website,, provides insight into how the company’s management services can benefit imaging providers across the healthcare spectrum.

“Rising costs, authorization hurdles, reimbursement pressure and increased competition create a challenging operating environment for any healthcare organization providing radiology services,” said Todd W. Latz, Chief Executive Officer of MedQuest. “We draw upon decades of experience to create multifaceted, customized solutions that meet each customer’s specific needs and requirements.”

Latz continued, “MedQuest’s tested, radiology-specific best practices, as well as our proven metrics and performance standards, have repeatedly increased volume, optimized operations and maximized profitability. MedQuest clients have seen top-line growth of up to 20 percent from increased revenue and more focused and efficient operations.”

MedQuest can deliver services individually or as comprehensive day-to-day management of all radiology operations. These services include:

  • Data-Driven Sales and Marketing – grows the top line by training and managing a dedicated, onsite marketing staff that actively partners with providers to increase referral volume and satisfaction levels
  • Operational Enhancements – helps facilities leverage their staffing while optimizing scheduling to ensure maximum patient throughput and enhanced staff productivity
  • Revenue Cycle and Denial Management – captures more revenue faster and ensures full compensation for services provided
  • Quality, Safety and Patient Experience – uses leading-edge metrics to track and manage radiology-specific quality and safety measures and ensure a high-quality patient experience
  • Strategic Development and Network Management – leverages deep project management expertise and relationships across multiple disciplines to deliver high-ROI projects, as well as provides transformation consulting to identify network-wide improvement and growth opportunities

MedQuest, Inc. is one of the country’s leading radiology management companies, owning and operating or managing approximately 75 freestanding outpatient imaging centers, seven acute care hospital radiology departments and a fleet of mobile MRI units, mobile mammography units and mobile ultrasound units.

About MedQuest Radiology Management Services
MedQuest Radiology Management Services provides comprehensive radiology management services to hospitals, imaging centers and physician practices that increase revenue, optimize operations and enhance quality, safety and the patient experience. MedQuest’s decades of management and operational experience, together with industry-leading proprietary systems and processes, create an unrivaled value proposition for customers. Visit to learn more.