"One of the well-known factors contributing to rising imaging costs is self-referral among non-radiologist physicians which has been shown to result in unnecessary utilization of imaging," said Rajan Agarwal, MD, MBA, lead author of the study. "This has made imaging one focus of concern as policymakers and third party payers look to cut health care costs," said Agarwal.
Data was collected utilizing the Medicare Part B Physician/Supplier Procedure Summary Master Files for 2002 through 2007. The number of PET scans performed on units owned or leased by various medical specialists, including radiologists was tabulated. While overall imaging growth is in line with or below that of other physician services ©¤
2 percent or less annually since 2006 ©¤ utilization by non-radiologists continues to significantly outpace that of radiologists.
"Results showed that while a large percentage of PET scans in private offices are done by radiologists, the growth rate among non-radiologists was much higher. Between 2002 and 2007 radiologist-owned Medicare PET scans increased by 259 percent, whereas non-radiologist owned or leased scans grew by 737 percent ¡ª a significant difference," said Agarwal.
"At a time when the costs of imaging and the exposure of patients to radiation are coming under intense scrutiny, it is of great concern that many non-radiologist physicians are going outside the scope of their original specialty training and practice experience by acquiring and leasing advanced imaging equipment such as PET scanners," he said.
"Because it has been clearly shown that self-referral leads to higher utilization of imaging this is likely already a significant driver of utilization increases and costs, and it of course also leads to greater exposure of patients to radiation. As was the case with CT and MRI, the PET growth trend among non-radiologists remains high and will bear further watching in future years," said Agarwal.
The March issue of JACR is an important resource for radiology and nuclear medicine professionals as well as students seeking clinical and educational improvement.
For more information about JACR, please visit www.jacr.org.
To receive an electronic copy of an article appearing in JACR or to set up an interview with a JACR author or another ACR member, please contact Heather Curry at 703-390-9822 or email@example.com
Heather Curry | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences