CT ownership growth among otolaryngologists and neurologists: Major trend?

Friday, December 5 | 11:00 a.m.-11:10 a.m. | SST10-04 | Room N227
Ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physicians and neurologists are among the physician groups increasingly putting CT scanners in their offices -- bypassing radiologists for in-office exams. How common is the trend?

"There's been some controversy in recent years about the acquisition and use of CT scanners by ENTs and neurologists in their offices," Dr. David C. Levin, from Thomas Jefferson University, wrote in an email to AuntMinnie.com. "We decided to take a look at how prevalent this is, using nationwide Medicare data."

The issue is of concern to policymakers, payors, and neuroradiologists because it creates opportunities for self-referral, the study team wrote in an abstract.

They searched nationwide Medicare Part B databases for 2002-2012 as data sources, choosing appropriate physician specialty codes to identify claims submitted by otolaryngologists and neurologists. Global and technical components of CT claims data from those specialties were used to determine the procedures they were billing. The presentation will also include results from other physician specialties.

"The database we used allows us to determine how many CT scans are done in private offices owned by ENTs and neurologists and compare them with how many are done by radiologists in their offices," Levin explained. "The results are interesting."

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