News | Business | September 28, 2015

Study Finds Medicare Imaging Spending Down Significantly Since 2006

States show variation, but researchers counsel policymakers toward evidence-based action

Medicare imaging spending, Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute, HPI, study

September 28, 2015 — Medicare per beneficiary medical imaging spending has declined in nearly every state since 2006, according to a new Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute (HPI) study published in the September 2015 issue of American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR). While the reduction varied (sometimes greatly) by state, it mirrored the significant national decline in Medicare imaging spending.

“Several states’ declines far outpace the national decline. Only Oregon and Maryland, which have federal waivers to support unique state health plans, showed increased spending. Ongoing policy initiatives should consider access and clinical outcomes effects due to this variation and widespread reduction in imaging spending,” said lead study author Andrew B. Rosenkrantz, M.D.

“State and regional spending variation is often quoted in addressing national imaging policy. Now knowing that such variation almost universally describes spending decline can help policymakers arrive at evidence-based policies that use resources efficiently and preserve access to care,” said study co-author Danny R. Hughes, Ph.D., research director and senior research fellow, Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute.

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