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.
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.
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 beam therapy is going through an interesting period right now.
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.
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.
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.
Last year the New York Times created quite a media storm with an article in which it reported on colonoscopies that ranged in price--depending on the location--from $7,563.56 to $19,438 (including a polyp removal).
When the Choosing Wisely campaign was launched in 2012, the stated goal of the initiative was to "spark conversation" about the necessity of certain frequently ordered tests and treatments. Currently, we are seeing evidence that Choosing Wisely recommendations--many of which are related to radiology and medical imaging--are, indeed, having an impact.