Appropriate use is a holistic goal that focuses on improving the overall value of care–which may require less, more, or different imaging, depending on clinical context. Appropriate use is more than curbing unwarranted utilization. Therefore, success in advancing appropriate imaging requires taking a broad view of the care continuum and collaborating with other service lines to identify opportunities.
In an era of value-based care, advancing appropriate use of imaging is a priority. The aging of the US population is increasing utilization of acute health care services. But more and more of that volume, rather than generating revenue, falls on the health system’s tab due to the increased prevalence of Medicare Advantage contracts that include financial risk, accountable care organizations, and private value-based plans. As a result, the cost of inappropriate utilization is becoming intolerable not only for payers and employers, but also for health systems themselves.