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Radiology Benefit Management Could Save Medicare up to $18 Billion Over 10 Years
Date:7/16/2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Medicare program could save between $11.6 and $18 billion in diagnostic imaging costs over the next 10 years by implementing a radiology benefit management (RBM) program similar to those used in the private sector. Currently, 90 percent of commercial health plans use RBM programs, saving billions of dollars. According to an independent analysis released today by MedSolutions (www.medsolutions.com), Medicare could reap similar financial benefits.

The report suggests potential savings associated with RBMs are much greater than projected earlier this year in the President's 2010 budget proposal. In that much discussed budget, a savings of only $260 million was estimated over a ten-year period.

"According to the American Journal of Radiology, up to 36 percent of imaging tests may be medically unnecessary," said Curt Thorne, president and chief executive officer of MedSolutions. "RBMs use evidence-based guidelines to help ensure that patients get the right test first. As a result, we prevent wasteful - and potentially harmful - overutilization that translates to billions in unnecessary expenditures."

Increased focus on imaging is important because Medicare spending on diagnostic imaging has been growing at an alarming rate. A June 2008 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report revealed Medicare spending on all imaging services from 2000 to 2006 more than doubled, topping $14 billion annually. During that same period, the cost of advanced imaging services such as CT, MRI and PET scans grew at an even faster rate of 17 percent annually over the same time period.

According to the analysis, the use of RBMs could reduce Medicare spending on advanced imaging services by an estimated $470 million to $720 million in the first year alo
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SOURCE MedSolutions
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