The debate surrounding proper use of medical imaging technology continues with a new report that was recently released by Avalere Health.  The report highlights emerging initiatives, such as accreditation of medical imaging facilities and the use of appropriateness criteria by healthcare providers as important ways to encourage proper utilization of medical imaging services without limiting access for patients.  

Appropriateness and accreditation criteria are promising trends to ensure patients get the right scan at the right time.  In this report, Avalere Health cites “a new level of forward-leaning engagement by payors and physicians to get the right image for the right patient by the right doctor in the right setting of care.”

Avalere also cites a United HealthCare and the American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF) pilot program to test ACCF’s appropriateness criteria for SPECT-MPI, an advanced imaging technique. A Massachusetts General Hospital program, which “deploys a decision support tool that allows doctors to access detailed appropriateness scores by providing patient symptoms and information at the point of care,," is also profiled in the report. The Avalere Health report references numerous accreditation, certification and education programs that are underway across the U.S.

Congress has already taken a step this direction with the passage of HR 6331, the recently passed Medicare Physician Payment package, which embraces appropriateness and accreditation as the best approach to addressing proper utilization in the Medicare program.

The full text of the Avalere Health report can be found at: http://www.medicalimaging.org/news/MITA_diagnostic_imaging_july2008.pdf

 


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