AuntMinnie.com Digital X-Ray Insider

Dear Digital X-Ray Insider,

News flash: Chest radiography has been largely immune to the ebb and flow of imaging utilization that's driven up Medicare costs over the past decade.

That's according to a new study presented at the RSNA 2012 meeting by utilization experts Dr. David C. Levin and Dr. Vijay Rao of Thomas Jefferson University. They studied chest x-ray use in Medicare from 2000 to 2010, and found that utilization rose at largely the same pace as growth in the general patient population.

The results aren't particularly surprising, as most of the utilization growth in imaging has been found in high-tech modalities such as CT and MRI. But the study does offer evidence that changes in self-referral patterns have been driving at least some of the rise -- and subsequent fall -- in Medicare reimbursement patterns. Read the story by clicking here.

In other news from RSNA 2012, researchers from Norway found that chest radiography probably ought to be retired in favor of CT, if cost is no object. They used an iterative reconstruction protocol to bring the radiation dose of 320-detector-row CT down to only twice that of a chest x-ray. Learn more by clicking here.

Other recent items in your Digital X-Ray Community include the following:

  • A review of signs to look for in cases of elder abuse.
  • A study that suggests radiology residents need twice as much time under fluoro guidance to place catheters.
  • Research that found CT could replace x-ray for cystic fibrosis patients.
  • A Moments in Radiology History item by Otha Linton on the U.S. government's black lung screening program

We hope you found last week's RSNA 2012 meeting productive; keep checking back in your Digital X-Ray Community at xray.auntminnie.com for more coverage from Chicago!

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