Pennsylvania takes hard line on self-referral CT screening

Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Robert Muscalus and Department of Environmental Protection Secretary David Hess have issued a public advisory against self-referral CT screening exams conducted without the advice of a physician.

Hess said that in the last few months, the state has ordered two facilities in southeastern Pennsylvania to stop conducting self-referral CT studies. There are no state-approved self-referral CT screening facilities in Pennsylvania, Hess said.

The DEP's Radiation Protection Advisory Committee recommended the issuance of the public advisory, according to the state government statement. The committee cited several reasons for its position, including:

  • The lack of generally accepted medical evidence that the exams improve medical care for the public or prolong life overall.
  • The possibility of increased disease, and even death, from unnecessary follow-up medical examinations or surgeries.
  • The potentially high radiation dose.
  • Increased patient anxiety from undergoing the procedure.
  • The increased monetary cost to patients.
By staff writers
May 31, 2002

Related Reading

Experts weigh benefits, drawbacks of whole-body CT, May 2, 2002

CT sees growth, and new concerns over radiation dose, November 25, 2001

For the person who has everything, whole-body CT makes inroads, September 11, 2001

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