News | December 30, 2008

Nonradiologists Acquiring CTs at a Rate Faster than Radiologists

December 30, 2008 - Nonradiologist physicians are acquiring or leasing CT scanners in increasing numbers, and the growth trend is much more rapid among them than it is among radiologists, reported a study published in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR).

From 2001 to 2006, the CT acquisition or leasing rate among U.S. radiologists was just 85 percent compared with 263 percent among nonradiologists, researchers show in the study, Ownership or Leasing of CT Scanners by Nonradiologist Physicians: A Rapidly Growing Trend That Raises Concern About Self-Referral.

The study also found that the nonradiologic specialties with the largest volumes in 2006 were primary care (192,255 scans), internal medicine subspecialties other than cardiology and medical oncology (184,991 scans), urology (125,850 scans), cardiology (104,739 scans), and medical oncology (61,976 scans). Excluding CT scans performed in independent diagnostic testing facilities (for which physician ownership cannot be determined), nonradiologists’ private-office CT market share rose from 16 percent in 2001 to 28 percent in 2006.

One of the questions raised about self-referring physicians is whether the scans they perform are related to their areas of expertise.

“Thus, one might ask whether cardiologists confine their studies to cardiovascular CT scans, urologists to body CT scans, medical oncologists to body and head CT scans, neurologists to head and spine CT scans, and vascular surgeons to cardiovascular CT scans,” remarked the researchers. According to the data, in 2006, 99.6 percent of urologists’ scans were of the body, 99.4 percent of medical oncologists’ scans were of the body or head, 74 percent of vascular surgeons’ scans were cardiovascular, 72 percent of cardiologists’ scans were cardiovascular, and 67 percent of neurologists’ scans were of the head or spine.

The researchers noted, “At a time when the costs of imaging and the exposure of patients to radiation are coming under intense scrutiny, it is of concern that many nonradiologist physicians are going outside the scope of their original specialty training and practice experience by acquiring or leasing advanced imaging equipment such as CT scanners.”

Because self-referral leads to higher utilization of imaging, the researchers suggest that this growth trend among nonradiologists utililizing CT scanners is a significant driver of imaging utilization and cost increases, and also leads to greater exposure of patients to radiation.

Source: American College of Radiology. J Am Coll Radiol 2008;5:1206-1209.

For more information: www.acr.org

Related Content

Hospital for Special Surgery Invests in Sectra Orthopedic 3-D Planning Software
News | Orthopedic Imaging | January 18, 2018
January 18, 2018 – International medical imaging IT and cybersecurity company Sectra announces that Hospital for Spec
Philips Introduces Technology Maximizer Program for Imaging Equipment Upgrades
Technology | Imaging | January 17, 2018
January 17, 2018 — Philips recently announced the launch of Technology Maximizer, a cross-modality program designed t
Fat Distribution in Women and Men Provides Clues to Heart Attack Risk
News | Women's Health | January 11, 2018
January 11, 2018 – It’s not the amount of fat in your body but where it is stored that may increase your risk for hea
Emergency Radiologists See Inner Toll of Opioid Use Disorders

Rates of Imaging Positivity for IV-SUDs Complications. Image courtesy of Efren J. Flores, M.D.

News | Clinical Study | January 11, 2018
January 11, 2018 – Emergency radiologists are seeing a high prevalence of patients with complications related to opio
Minimally Invasive Treatment Provides Relief from Back Pain

Lumbar spine MRI showing disc herniation and nerve root at baseline and one month after treatment

News | Interventional Radiology | January 11, 2018
The majority of patients were pain free after receiving a new image-guided pulsed radiofrequency treatment for low back...
CT Shows Enlarged Aortas in Former Pro Football Players

3-D rendering from a cardiac CT dataset demonstrating mild dilation of the ascending aorta.

News | Computed Tomography (CT) | January 11, 2018
Former National Football League (NFL) players are more likely to have enlarged aortas, a condition that may put them at...

Size comparison between 3-D printed prosthesis implant and a penny.

News | 3-D Printing | January 11, 2018
January 11, 2018 — Researchers using...
BlueCross BlueShield Companies in Eight States Issue Positive Medical Policies for HeartFlow FFRct Analysis
News | CT Angiography (CTA) | December 28, 2017
HeartFlow Inc. announced that Health Care Service Corp. (HCSC), which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in five...
Artificial intelligence was the number one topic in radiology in 2017.

Artificial intelligence was the number one topic of interest in radiology in 2017, based on the most popular articles and videos on ITN in 2017.

Feature | Imaging | December 28, 2017
The Imaging Technology News (ITN) website had another record year with more than 1.25 million page views in 2017.
Median Technologies Collaborating With Chinese Hospital for Lung Cancer Screening Programs. Dave Fornell
News | Lung Cancer | December 22, 2017
Median Technologies recently announced a research collaboration agreement with Xingtai People's Hospital, Xingtai City...
Overlay Init