Ben Lauing, Imaging Performance Partnership
Released yesterday, the third edition of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) Diagnosis and Management of Lung Cancer guidelines includes the recommendation that providers offer annual low-dose CT scans for patients at high risk.
While the ACCP introduced this recommendation last year, its inclusion in the updated guidelines further validates the clinical utility of CT in the diagnosis of lung cancer. This official acknowledgement may be welcome news to imaging providers who face flat or declining volumes and seek new opportunities for growth.
New screening guidelines indicate CT for lung cancer
Shaun Lillard, Imaging Performance Partnership
In the past few years, we’ve heard increasing concern from members about volume volatility in imaging. While we do predict modest increases in imaging volumes across 5 and 10 year time frames, declines are occurring in some modalities from one year to the next. Therefore, helping you understand national trends in imaging volumes has become one of our top priorities each year.
How did your imaging volumes measure up in 2012?
Eric Bushlow, Imaging Performance Partnership
Policy makers have long argued that the cost of advanced medical imaging among Medicare beneficiaries has contributed significantly to overall health care cost growth. Recent research presented at RSNA 2012, however, suggests the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) dramatically impacted the growth of these services as compared to other health care costs.
The study highlights that before the DRA, advanced imaging was the fastest growing service category, ranking in the 86th growth rate percentile in 2001. However, by 2011 advanced imaging fell to the 2nd growth rate percentile—a testament to the effectiveness of this legislation and potentially demonstrating the impact of more recent appropriateness scrutiny.
These findings add to a growing body of evidence suggesting a significant decline in imaging utilization over the past decade—a trend uncovered in the March 2012 MedPAC report.
Growth rate of advanced imaging slows dramatically since DRA