KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Study: Explosion Of Medical Imaging Due Partly To Overuse

"Part of the explosion in medical imaging over the past two decades may be attributable to overuse, and steps need to be taken to cut back," according to a study in the journal Radiology, MedPage Today/ABC News reports.

"Initiatives include rewriting the fee-for-service system, curbing physician self-referral practices, and creating appropriateness criteria for imaging, according to William R. Hendee of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and colleagues. … Imaging services and their costs have grown at about twice the rate of other technologies in healthcare including lab procedures and pharmaceuticals, Hendee and colleagues wrote." Overuse of imaging "also exposes the public to unnecessary radiation." The authors "called for a national effort to develop evidence-based appropriateness criteria for imaging, so that physicians can make greater use of practice guidelines in requesting and conducting imaging studies" (Fiore, 8/29).

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