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Avalere Examines Emerging Strategies for Managing Imaging Utilization
Date:7/11/2008

WASHINGTON, July 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Efforts and initiatives designed to improve the utilization of advanced medical imaging services are increasing, says a new report released today by Avalere Health. The report comes at a time when healthcare leaders and policymakers are actively exploring how to help patients access advanced imaging services while assuring high-quality, cost-effective diagnosis and treatment.

Avalere's new report highlights approaches used by physicians, health insurers, and equipment manufacturers to help doctors offer their patients appropriate and efficient imaging services. The report's authors focused primarily on three sets of approaches -- updated and more comprehensive appropriateness guidelines; enhanced accreditation and certification programs; and expanded education and training -- with a lens toward how these programs can influence provider behavior, imaging quality, and patient care.

"We're seeing a new level of forward-leaning engagement by payors and physicians to get the right image for the right patient by the right doctor in the right setting of care," said Jon Glaudemans, senior vice president of Avalere and co-author of the report. "These new, more holistic approaches that extend beyond simple reimbursement strategies have the potential to improve the quality of advanced imaging care in tangible ways."

Some of the efforts profiled in the Avalere report seek to direct physicians to appropriate scans by providing new clinical guidelines at the point of care. For example, United HealthCare and the American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF) have a new pilot program to test ACCF's appropriateness criteria for SPECT-MPI, an advanced imaging technique. The program's new data-rich registry will track rates of appropriate, inappropriate, and uncertain scans while providing physicians with personalized feedback about their performance.

Payors' recent embrace and expansion of accreditation and cert
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SOURCE Avalere Health
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