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Self-Referral of Medical Imaging Exams a Primary Factor in Six-Fold Increase to Americans' Radiation Exposure From Scans Since 1980
Date:3/3/2009

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Patients should also keep a record of their X-ray history and before undergoing a scan, should ask their physician:

  • Why do I need this exam?
  • How will having this exam improve my health care?
  • Are there alternatives that do not use radiation which are equally as good?
  • Is this facility ACR accredited? (www.acr.org/facility-search)
  • Does the physician ordering the scan have a financial interest in the facility providing the exam (i.e. do they directly profit from ordering the scan)?
  • Is my child receiving a "kid-sized" radiation dose? (for pediatric exams)

"Mandatory accreditation for mammography facilities has undoubtedly helped to raise the quality of care provided nationwide and screening mammography has been proven to save lives. Mammograms utilize relatively low levels of radiation. Women should speak to their radiologist and their referring physician regarding any concerns they may have and should not put off getting scheduled mammograms or other imaging procedures which they may need," said Society of Breast Imaging President Carol H. Lee, M.D.

What Government Can Do:

Medical imaging has transformed the practice of medicine as imaging studies increasingly replace more invasive, and often more costly, techniques for any number of indications. However, government regulation regarding which providers can perform these scans and the quality of equipment used must keep pace with this advancing technology.

There are currently no federal standards for in-office high tech medical imaging providers or for imaging facilities not registered as independent diagnostic testing facilities
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SOURCE American College of Radiology
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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