Latest Commentary

The growing importance of breast density notification laws

Five years ago, the state of Connecticut became the first to require that women be told they have dense breasts and that insurance cover ultrasound scans for those women. Since then, another 18 states have enacted similar laws, and Congress is considering similar legislation, as well.

At RSNA 2014, a celebration of the past and a look to the future

Last week's meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago was the organization's 100th annual get together, and as such was celebrated with a proud look at the past of both the RSNA and the field of radiology. But the meeting also was about the present--and more importantly the future--of radiology.

Time to get the conversation started on price transparency

One concept that we hear much about pertaining to the future of healthcare is the need for cost transparency. And when we see reports about the wide variation of costs associated with medical imaging procedures, its easy to see why.

Did CMS go far enough with its CT lung cancer screening decision?

CT lung cancer advocates are breathing easier now that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a preliminary decision to cover low-dose CT lung cancer screening for eligible patients. Still, there are some provisions of the decision that have left many observers wondering whether the CMS decision went far enough and whether it will enable everyone who could benefit from screening to actually get screened.

ED imaging overutilization: Still work to be done

One of the most significant trends in imaging over the past several years has been the decline in imaging growth rates. But it appears that emergency departments are still behind the times.

Lung cancer screening: All eyes on CMS

The week ahead should be a big one for lung cancer screening advocates, and not just because we're in the midst of Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

Proton therapy hardly an industry in dire straits

Proton beam therapy is going through an interesting period right now.

Over-imaging of children: The discouraging pattern continues

Last year, a study published in JAMA Pediatrics evaluated the use of CT scans between 1996 and 2010 in children younger than 15 years and found that between 1996 and 2005 the use of CT doubled among children younger than 5 years old, and almost tripled for older children. The good news in that study was that even though the rate of CT imaging on children remained high, it declined in the period between 2005 and 2010. It seemed that efforts to reduce children's exposure to ionizing radiation through campaigns like Image Gently were having an effect.

That's why the results of new research out of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, reported in this week's issue of FierceMedicalImaging, are so discouraging.

 

How appropriate are ACR's appropriateness criteria?

Back in the 1990s the American College of Radiology began a huge project to define the appropriate use of different imaging technologies. This effort--the ACR Appropriateness Criteria--is continually updated and covers all medical procedures, helping healthcare providers conduct the most appropriate medical imaging exam for a patient's clinical condition. Recent research shows us, however, that some work still needs to be done when it comes to the use of appropriateness criteria. 

 

Cardiac imaging: Educating physicians and empowering patients

Today, cardiac imaging accounts for about 40 percent of patient radiology exposure, and there have been concerns expressed that many cardiologists haven't been fully aware of the risks associated with ionizing radiation and cardiac imaging. In this week's issue of FierceMedicalImaging we report on research that further illustrates the impact cardiac imaging can have on patient radiation exposure. The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that the overuse of cardiac stress testing over the course of nearly two decades has resulted in the performance of about 1 million unnecessary tests (most of them conduced with imaging) at a cost of about half a billion dollars.