10 Dec Imaging utilization growth hits the brakes
AuntMinnie.com | December 9 – After a period of rapid increases in the first half of the decade, growth in diagnostic imaging utilization finally appears to be slowing in the U.S., according to a survey of Medicare databases that was presented at last week’s 2010 RSNA meeting in Chicago.
A research team from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia reported that utilization of noninvasive diagnostic imaging in the Medicare population grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.4% between 2005 and 2008, well down from the 4.1% CAGR experienced between 1998 and 2005.
“There has been a dramatic slowdown in growth of noninvasive diagnostic imaging since 2005,” said presenter David Levin, MD. “It affects all modalities but is particularly pronounced in nuclear medicine and MRI. It’s also especially pronounced among outpatients.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, nonradiologist physicians continue to outpace radiologists in imaging utilization.
“After 2005, growth slowed among both radiologists and nonradiologists, but in both time periods [1998-2005 and 2005-2008], growth in utilization rates was twice as rapid among nonradiologist self-referring physicians as among radiologists,” he said.
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