By staff writers

July 2, 2012 -- Altarum Institute has received an $8.4 million award from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) Innovation Center to develop a program for reducing inappropriate imaging in southeastern Michigan.

Its project is among 81 healthcare innovation awards funded by the Affordable Care Act that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on June 15. The three-year grants, ranging from $1 million to $30 million, are intended to support innovative projects nationwide designed to deliver high-quality medical care, enhance the healthcare workforce, and save money.

The Altarum Institute, a nonprofit health systems research and consulting organization, has partnered with United Physicians, a physician organization of independent practices in southeastern Michigan, and the Detroit Medical Center Physician Hospital Organization.

The organizations will establish a data-exchange system between primary care physicians and imaging facilities; the goal is to increase the use of the American College of Radiology's (ACR) evidence-based guidelines by physicians ordering CT and MRI exams of the head, chest, abdomen, lumbar spine, cervical spine, shoulder, and lower extremities.

During the grant period, Altarum Institute will train a network of healthcare providers in the use of the program's systems and technology. The institute hopes to reduce CT volume by 17.4% and MRI volume by 13.4% over three years, resulting in a 17% reduction in imaging costs, or an estimated savings of $33.25 million.

Copyright © 2012

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