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My question here is...is it the ...

Posted Nov 10 2008 4:20pm

My question here is... is it the cost or over exposure.... why has the number of CT scans doubled, well we do have the equipment here in the US to do them...is the cost a reason to perhaps focus on the over exposure potential....BD 

image TRENTON, N.J. - Insurance companies are taking a harder look at advanced medical scans like CT scans, citing spiraling costs and safety concerns. And some doctors agree there’s emerging evidence that these scans are being over-prescribed.

“Costs are soaring in this area, quality concerns are mounting and safety concerns are mounting,” said Karen Ignagni, chief executive officer of the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plan.  Doctors, too, are concerned about patients getting excessive radiation exposure when they receive scans that aren’t needed or are ordered as “defensive medicine” to protect against possible lawsuits. There also is concern that a small number of unscrupulous doctors without adequate expertise are referring patients for tests in their own offices or imaging facilities in which they have a financial interest.

But doctor experts say the bigger problem with medical imaging tests is the insurance red tape needed to get them.

Some doctors will instead order a cardiac catheterization, which doesn’t require advance authorization, Hendel said. But that involves threading a catheter through a blood vessel up into the patient’s heart — and carries a 10-times higher risk of complications such as a heart attack or stroke, he said.

Advanced medical scans get closer scrutiny - Health care- msnbc.com

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