ACR assails cardiology-backed study of utilization

June 1, 2005

The American College of Radiology has criticized a study that allegedly misrepresents the reasons for rapidly rising imaging utilization.

The American College of Radiology has criticized a study that allegedly misrepresents the reasons for rapidly rising imaging utilization.

A report by the Lewin Group on Medicare costs, sponsored by the Coalition for Patient-Centered Imaging, found that hospital and outpatient services-not self-referrals by nonradiologists-are responsible for rising Medicare costs. The CPCI comprises cardiologists and other nonradiologists who perform medical imaging.

In a press release, Dr. James P. Borgstede, chair of the ACR's board of chancellors, said that the analysis did not adequately address concerns in Congress that growing in-office imaging might be responsible for rising costs. The study also ignores a decade's worth of data on booming self-referral imaging by nonradiologists, he said.

Jill Rathbun, spokesperson for the American Society of Breast Surgeons, a CPCI member, defended the report, saying it looks at the big picture rather than concentrating on Medicare physician fee schedules as a source of imaging growth.