"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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Heather Curry | EurekAlert!
Drought hits rivers first and more strongly than agriculture
06.09.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie
Landslides triggered by human activity on the rise
23.08.2018 | European Geosciences Union
The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.
This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.
Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...
Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.
"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...
A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.
Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...
Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.
An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...
21.09.2018 | Event News
03.09.2018 | Event News
27.08.2018 | Event News
21.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
21.09.2018 | Life Sciences
21.09.2018 | Event News