Navigation Links
Study Finds Rise in Rate of Diagnostic Imaging in Managed Care
Date:11/10/2008

Use of radiology imaging tests has soared in the past decade with a significant increase in newer technologies, according to a new study that is the first to track imaging patterns in a managed care setting over a substantial time period.

(Vocus) November 10, 2008 -- Use of radiology imaging tests has soared in the past decade with a significant increase in newer technologies, according to a new study that is the first to track imaging patterns in a managed care setting over a substantial time period.

Study results are reported in the November/December 2008 issue of the journal "Health Affairs," which focuses on the pros and cons of the medical technology boom, the biggest driver of increasing healthcare costs.

A team of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco and the Group Health Center for Health Studies in Seattle conducted the study using data from 377,000 patients enrolled in the Group Health Cooperative in Washington state between 1997 and 2006. The study population underwent five million radiology tests during this 10-year period.

Analysis showed an increase in all type of imaging technologies, with the majority of the tests being X-ray procedures. The average total imaging cost per patient, per year doubled during the study period, from $229 to $443.

The most striking finding was the increase in the number of newer and pricier tests such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans, according to the research team. In 1997, 13.5 percent of the study group had undergone a CT, MRI, or both, and in 2006 it was 21 percent. Study results showed the per-patient number of CT scans doubled over the 10 years, and the number of MRI scans tripled.

This increase in CT and MRI imaging appeared across the board, with no single patient group or disease group dominating, according to lead author Rebecca Smith-Bindman, MD, an associate professor of radiology and biomedical imaging, epidemiology and biostatistics, and obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at UCSF.

The goal with newer imaging tests is to use them in the most efficient and effective way possible and as a replacement for older, less accurate tests, emphasized Smith-Bindman. "But we found the newer tests, such as CT and MRI, are being added on top of the old tests, such as X-rays, rather than replacing them -- and this increases costs.

"Like first-time parents taking baby pictures, we may be overdoing it with newer diagnostic imaging tests. Using these tests wisely can detect treatable diseases and save lives. Excess imaging may be too much of a good thing. In addition to health care costs, we need to consider patients' exposure to potentially cancer-causing radiation. The benefit of testing needs to be balanced against the risk," she said.

Smith-Bindman's study confirms previous reports of a trend toward over-imaging, including one that found imaging has risen faster than any other medical service that Medicare patients receive.

The study findings also highlight concern about a correlation between the type of health care practice and rates of imaging, Smith-Bindman said. "Unlike managed care systems such as Group Health that receive a fixed amount to care for each patient, 'fee-for-service' practices get financial rewards for doing extra testing, including recouping investments in office-based scanning equipment. It is likely that rates of testing are higher in fee-for-service practice, and this habit of doing more imaging may be spreading into managed care."

The study did not address the appropriateness of imaging and whether the increase was associated with improvements in patient care, and this is an area that needs further study, the research team noted.

"Our results definitely highlight the need to curb unnecessary imaging. In future research we need to examine the value of imaging so that we can assess when the new technology leads to improved patient care and improved outcomes, and when the value of new technologies is limited or nonexistent. In all cases, we need to use the technology in a way that limits unnecessary exposure to radiation," Smith-Bindman said.

Study co-authors were Diana L. Miglioretti, PhD, associate investigator, and Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, executive director, both of the Group Health Center for Health Studies.

The study was supported by funding from the Group Health Center for Health Studies.

The Group Health Center for Health Studies conducts research on preventing, diagnosing, and treating major health problems. Government and private research grants provide its main funding. Group Health Cooperative is a Seattle-based, consumer-governed, nonprofit health care system that integrates care and coverage.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.

# # #

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/Diagnostic_Imaging/Radiology/prweb1581874.htm


'/>"/>
Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2008 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Study finds rise in rate of diagnostic imaging in managed care
2. Overnight Dialysis Saves Lives: Study
3. Superbugs on the rise in Canadian hospitals, new Queens study shows
4. First Study of War-Related Mental Disorders Among Iraqis 10 Years Post-Gulf War Published by Researchers at Wayne State University and Basrah University, Iraq
5. University of Minnesota Study Says Students Eat More Whole Grains When Gradually Added to School Foods
6. Childrens Hospital study demonstrates how bone marrow transplant can cure sickle cell disease
7. Study shows testosterone improves sexual well-being in post-menopausal women
8. New Study Reveals What Women Want When Considering Cosmetic Procedures
9. New Study Demonstrates Cost Effectiveness of NeuroStar TMS Therapy(R) in the Treatment of Depression
10. Study finds racial disparities increasing for cancers unrelated to smoking
11. REVISED AND UPDATED: Firearms Industry Statement on Results of CDC Blood Lead Levels in Hunters Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... Aliso Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... for Final Cut Pro X. , "Film editors can give their videos a whole ... artistically," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Many ... been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not only ... approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a pregnancy. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, as reported by ... lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and to infest common ... the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As lice are a ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Beach, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... UCLA with Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of ... Diego and returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom ... of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result ... more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Collagen Matrix, Inc., ("Collagen Matrix") ... manufacturing of collagen and mineral based medical devices ... Bill Messer has joined the company ... leverage the growing portfolio of oral surgery, neurosurgery, ... Bill joins the Collagen Matrix executive team as ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dublin ... of the " Global Markets for Spectroscopy Equipment" ... This report focuses on the global ... including its applications in various applications. The report deals ... three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and beverage, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Dehaier Medical Systems ... "Company"), which develops, markets and sells medical devices and ... , signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Hongyuan Supply ... Supply Chain") on June 20, 2016, to develop Dehaier,s ... strategic cooperation agreement, Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan Supply Chain,s ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: