Just weeks after several Health Affairs studies suggested that imaging self-referrals drive up the cost of health care without improving outcomes, a study from the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) highlights the prevalence of physician-owned imaging equipment. Reporting on results from their 2008 Health Tracking Physician Survey, they found that 17.4%, or 1 in 6, non-radiologist physicians own or lease advanced imaging equipment. Breaking down by physician type, the survey found that surgical specialists were most likely to own or lease advanced imaging equipment with a prevalence of 30.3%. Researchers also looked at practice type and found that, not-surprisingly, likelihood to own equipment grew with size. In fact, in groups with 50 or more physicians, the likelihood to own or lease imaging equipment rises to 1 in 2.
New Report Finds that One in Six Non-Radiologist Physicians Own or Lease Advanced Imaging Equipment
A recent article in Diagnostic Imaging discussing the impact of accountable care on imaging (a subject we've discussed previously here, here and here), raises a critical question; what role will radiologists play in the new accountable care environment? Radiologists are in a unique position to help accountable care organizations (ACOs) reduce duplicative services and improve cost efficiency. Furthermore, through collaboration with ordering physicians, radiologists can also create comprehensive guidelines for standardized care, avoiding unnecessary scans and limiting downstream utilization, in turn improving care quality.
A New Role for Radiologists in the Accountable Care Era?
Each year, after reviewing high-impact publications and findings from major clinical conferences, my research team and I like to reflect on the key imaging technology trends we've seen across the past year, and forecast how many of these trends will impact the provision of imaging services in the future.
The Next-Generation of Breast Imaging Technologies