News | Orthopedic Imaging | September 06, 2017

Musculoskeletal Extremity Imaging in Medicare Beneficiaries Increased Over Two Decades

All four of the most common MSK modalities saw increases, led by CT at 754 percent

Musculoskeletal Extremity Imaging in Medicare Beneficiaries Increased Over Two Decades

September 6, 2017 — A new study by the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute found that in the Medicare population, the utilization rates have increased in both volume and per beneficiary over the past two decades for the most common musculoskeletal (MSK) extremity imaging modalities. The study focused on radiography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) and ultrasound.

Radiology was the dominant billing specialty for all imaging modalities with dominant market shares for MRI and CT. Physician offices were the most common site for imaging for all modalities except for CT, which was most commonly utilized in the hospital outpatient and inpatient settings. These insights may have implications for radiology practice leaders in making decisions regarding capital infrastructure, workforce and training investments to ensure the provision of optimal imagine services for extremity musculoskeletal care.

The study is published online in the American Journal of Roentgenology. 

“Our results show that the utilization rates (per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries) for all four musculoskeletal extremity imaging modalities increased over time,” said lead study author Soterios Gyftopoulos, M.D., an associate professor of radiology at NYU Langone Medical Center. “The largest increase was for CT throughout our study’s time period with a 754 percent increase in utilization from 1994 to 2013.”

Gyftopoulos and his colleagues used billing data obtained from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Physician Supplier Procedure Summary Master Files from 1994 to 2013. The Neiman Imaging Types of Service (NITOS) radiology claims classification system was used to identify those HCPS codes corresponding with non-vascular extremity imaging. The following increases in MSK extremity imaging were found over the past two decades: 43 percent for radiography, 619 percent for MRI, 754 percent for CT and 528 percent for ultrasound. 

“An understanding of the utilization rates of common imaging modalities is an important first step toward determining the most cost-effective imaging strategies for patients with musculoskeletal conditions," added Richard Duszak, M.D., FACR, professor and vice chair for health policy and practice in the department of radiology and imaging sciences at Emory University and senior affiliate research fellow at the Neiman Institute. “Our findings support observations that physicians are increasingly relying on advanced imaging to ensure that their patients with musculoskeletal diseases receive the best care,” he said.

Read the article "CMS May Cancel Orthopedic and Cardiac Bundled Payments."

For more information: www.ajronline.org

Related Content

Stereotactic Radiosurgery Effective for Pediatric Arteriovenous Malformation Patients
News | Radiation Therapy | April 19, 2019
Ching-Jen Chen, M.D., of the neurosurgery department at the University of Virginia (UVA) Health System, was the winner...
Video Plus Brochure Helps Patients Make Lung Cancer Scan Decision

Image courtesy of the American Thoracic Society

News | Lung Cancer | April 19, 2019
A short video describing the potential benefits and risks of low-dose computed tomography (CT) screening for lung...
Surgically Guided Brachytherapy Improves Outcomes for Intracranial Neoplasms
News | Brachytherapy Systems | April 18, 2019
Peter Nakaji, M.D., FAANS, general practice neurosurgeon at Barrow Neurological Institute, presented new research on...
Check-Cap Initiates U.S. Pilot Study of C-Scan for Colorectal Cancer Screening
News | Colonoscopy Systems | April 15, 2019
Check-Cap Ltd. has initiated its U.S. pilot study of the C-Scan system for prevention of colorectal cancer through...
Deep Lens Closes Series A Financing for Digital AI Pathology Platform
News | Digital Pathology | April 09, 2019
Digital pathology company Deep Lens Inc. announced the closing of a $14 million Series A financing that will further...
Uterine Fibroid Embolization Safer and as Effective as Surgical Treatment
News | Interventional Radiology | April 05, 2019
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) effectively treats uterine fibroids with fewer post-procedure complications compared...
News | Biopsy Systems | March 29, 2019
Dune Medical Devices has just completed the first in-man cases for Smart Biopsy, its percutaneous soft tissue biopsy...
Artificial Intelligence Can Improve Emergency X-ray Identification of Pacemakers
News | X-Ray | March 29, 2019
A research team from Imperial College London believes a new software could speed up the diagnosis and treatment of...
Interventional Radiology Treatment for Tennis Elbow Reduces Pain and Inflammation

Image courtesy of Yuji Okuno

News | Interventional Radiology | March 29, 2019
Tennis elbow, a painful chronic condition that affects up to 3 percent of U.S. adults, can be effectively treated...
NIH Study of Brain Energy Patterns Provides New Insights into Alcohol Effects

NIH scientists present a new method for combining measures of brain activity (left) and glucose consumption (right) to study regional specialization and to better understand the effects of alcohol on the human brain. Image courtesy of Ehsan Shokri-Kojori, Ph.D., of NIAAA.

News | Neuro Imaging | March 22, 2019
March 22, 2019 — Assessing the patterns of energy use and neuronal activity simultaneously in the human brain improve