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AIM's Program for Improving Echocardiography Appropriateness Yields Impressive Results
Date:9/21/2011

CHICAGO, Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- AIM, a leading specialty benefit management company today announced the results of a customer case study that shows prospective clinical review for echocardiography improves the clinical appropriateness of cardiac imaging services and helps prevent unnecessary utilization.

Implemented in 2009 by a health plan covering a three-state region, AIM's clinical review program for echocardiography resulted in a decrease in utilization of 18 percent, the study shows, with the added benefits of helping to reduce unnecessary health care spending and enhancing patient safety and value for consumers.

This is especially important as rampant and often unnecessary or inappropriate imaging procedures are frequently cited as contributing to our nation's unsustainable health care costs. According to a 2008 report by America's Health Insurance Plans, imaging procedures grew nearly 40 percent from 2000 to 2005 and estimates suggest that one third of these procedures are inappropriate, costing between $3 billion to $10 billion annually. Moreover, the report finds, between 20 and 50 percent of high-tech diagnostic imaging for various conditions fails to provide information that improves patient diagnosis and/or treatment and may be considered redundant or unnecessary.

Using a rigorous methodology, AIM evaluated a client population of approximately three million members over a two-year period in 2009 and 2010 to determine the impact its echocardiography clinical review program had on provider ordering behaviors and utilization patterns. The study finds that the clinical review program resulted in a decrease in utilization of certain cardiac imaging services of 18 percent, compared to the same period the year before the program was implemented. The program demonstrated success especially in managing utilization on the front end of the ordering process through efficient evaluation of orders along with focused provider educati
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SOURCE American Imaging Management, Inc.
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