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)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film ... Pro X. , "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by ... Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents ... the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and ... highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for ... is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell ... pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, ... Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort ... the American Cancer Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients ... seniors and other adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... NORTHBROOK, Ill. and BOGOTA, Colombia , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the ... joins Astellas Farma Brasil as the company,s second affiliate in Latin America . ... ... appointed General Manager of Astellas Farma Colombia ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  Guerbet announced today that it ... Supplier Horizon Award . One of 12 ... recognized for its support of Premier members through exceptional ... excellence, and commitment to lower costs. ... recognition of our outstanding customer service from Premier," says ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ... (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, France, ... Surgical Procedure Volumes: ... provides surgical procedure volume data in a geographic context. ... analysis of growth drivers and inhibitors, including world population ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: