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Imaging Idolatry

Imaging Idolatry EDITORIAL The Uneasy Intersection of Patient Satisfaction, Quality of Care, and Overuse EDICAL IMAGING IS A GROWTH INDUS- volved 1804 patients and failed to show any advantage try. A 2008 report by the Govern- of imaging with regard to pain or function, in either the ment Accountability Office (GAO) short term or the long term. noted that in just 7 years, from 2000 Going yet a step further, we might ask: Could there be M through 2006, Medicare spending for any harms associated with spine imaging? Unlike, for ex- imaging more than doubled to approximately $14 bil- ample, chest radiography, lumbar spine radiography or CT lion. Most of the growth was in advanced imaging such scanning deliver radiation directly to the gonads, creat- as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance ing a small risk of carcinogenesis or mutagenesis. Beyond (MR) imaging. In the particular case of lumbar spine this, however, there is evidence that simply knowing about imaging, MR images covered by Medicare increased 307% some abnormality in the spine may adversely affect pa- 2 13 between 1994 and 2005. The GAO linked spending tient behavior. Ash and colleagues studied 246 patients growth, in part, to a shift of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA Internal Medicine American Medical Association

Imaging Idolatry

JAMA Internal Medicine , Volume 169 (10) – May 25, 2009

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright 2009 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.
ISSN
2168-6106
eISSN
2168-6114
DOI
10.1001/archinternmed.2009.124
pmid
19468081
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

EDITORIAL The Uneasy Intersection of Patient Satisfaction, Quality of Care, and Overuse EDICAL IMAGING IS A GROWTH INDUS- volved 1804 patients and failed to show any advantage try. A 2008 report by the Govern- of imaging with regard to pain or function, in either the ment Accountability Office (GAO) short term or the long term. noted that in just 7 years, from 2000 Going yet a step further, we might ask: Could there be M through 2006, Medicare spending for any harms associated with spine imaging? Unlike, for ex- imaging more than doubled to approximately $14 bil- ample, chest radiography, lumbar spine radiography or CT lion. Most of the growth was in advanced imaging such scanning deliver radiation directly to the gonads, creat- as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance ing a small risk of carcinogenesis or mutagenesis. Beyond (MR) imaging. In the particular case of lumbar spine this, however, there is evidence that simply knowing about imaging, MR images covered by Medicare increased 307% some abnormality in the spine may adversely affect pa- 2 13 between 1994 and 2005. The GAO linked spending tient behavior. Ash and colleagues studied 246 patients growth, in part, to a shift of

Journal

JAMA Internal MedicineAmerican Medical Association

Published: May 25, 2009

References