Excess Imaging Has A Fiscal — And Personal — Cost

Posted On : December 5, 2014,   Time : 8:26 am

A new study has concluded that unnecessary medical imaging in conjunction with cardiac stress tests not only costs the healthcare system more than $500 million annually but also creates enough radiation exposure to give 491 Americans cancer each year.

Using data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, the study’s authors concluded that imaging with a cardiac stress test rose from 59 percent of the time in the early 1990s to 87 percent of the time by 2010. Meanwhile, the percentage of patients who underwent a stress test without the presence of cardiac disease rose mFig1ore than 50 percent during that same time period.

As a result, the researchers concluded that nearly 35 percent of cardiac stress imaging tests are unnecessary. That’s about 1 million such exams each year.

“People have less time. They are rushing. There’s less time to talk to patients and get a sense of their symptoms, and the alternative is testing,” said Joseph Ladapo, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at New York University and lead author of the study, which was published in the most recent issue of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. As a result, Ladapo added that doctors will order the test just to exhaust every investigative alternative.

SecondOpinionExpert’s panel of physician specialists help patients decide whether a test or procedure is necessary. For more information, visit us at www.secondopinionexpert.com.
Read about the study here.

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