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BackTable / VI / Podcast / Episode #329

OBLs: Past, Present, and Future

with Dr. Bill Julien

In this episode, host Dr. Aparna Baheti interviews Dr. Bill Julien about the evolution of the outpatient based lab (OBL), its role in expanding patient access to IR care, and its relationship with other IR practice models around the country.

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OBLs: Past, Present, and Future with Dr. Bill Julien on the BackTable VI Podcast)
Ep 329 OBLs: Past, Present, and Future with Dr. Bill Julien
00:00 / 01:04

BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2023, June 5). Ep. 329 – OBLs: Past, Present, and Future [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from

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Podcast Contributors

Dr. Bill Julien discusses OBLs: Past, Present, and Future on the BackTable 329 Podcast

Dr. Bill Julien

Dr. William Julien is a vascular and interventional radiologist with South Florida Vascular Associates.

Dr. Aparna Baheti discusses OBLs: Past, Present, and Future on the BackTable 329 Podcast

Dr. Aparna Baheti

Dr. Aparna Baheti is a practicing Interventional Radiologist in Tacoma, Washington.


Dr. Julien is one of the initial OBL founders in the United States. In 2001, he started his current practice, South Florida Vascular Associates in an effort to practice independent IR. At this time, he struggled to get hospital privileges due to exclusive diagnostic radiology contracts, so he placed a C-arm in his office out of necessity. Eventually, he built a formal angio suite. As a result, patients enjoyed the efficiency and comfort of office based procedures, and he enjoyed physician autonomy and freedom from hospital politics. Dr. Julien notes that overtime, CMS has recognized the value of an office-based intervention and saw that IRs could practice high-quality care at a lower price point with higher patient satisfaction, leading to improved Medicare reimbursements.

Since the conception of his OBL, Dr. Julien has seen practice structures change, especially with the influence of venture capital firms and the pressure to generate RVUs. Additionally, though some voices have pushed for more IR involvement in the clinical sphere, there has not been much progress made in advocating for IR hospital privileges. This is a significant barrier to independent IR practices, since some states require that an IR has hospital privileges before opening an OBL. Dr. Julien says that this dilemma is unique to IR, since other specialties, such as vascular surgery and cardiology, are not affected by exclusive contracts to the same extent. He believes that IR societies and leading voices should actively challenge the legal basis of these contracts and support interventionalists who want to stay independent. We highlight recent SIR and ACR position statements on this topic.

Finally, Dr. Julien offers advice to IRs who are seeking to enter the OBL setting. He encourages them to perform and learn from as many procedures as possible, find ways to develop and maintain clinical skills, identify mentors, and ensure that their restrictive covenants are not too stringent.


Disclaimer: The Materials available on are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.

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