Docs who own scanners order more tests | MassDevice.com On Call

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MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Doctors with a financial interest in imaging equipment may order more unnecessary tests, according to a study by the Radiological Society of North America.

Patients that were referred for scans by docs who owned their own equipment had 86% more negative scans than patients referred by doctors with no financial stake in the equipment.

Medicare dramatically increased spending for diagnostic imaging in the last decade, and ⅔ of that money goes to doctors, lead researcher Dr. Ben Paxton told MedPage Today.

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"We’re not saying these studies are necessarily unnecessary, but when there’s a clear difference between the scans ordered for these two groups, and the only difference is whether the [clinician] owns the scanner, that makes you think there’s a tie," Dr. Ramsey Kilani, advisor on the research, told the website. "We’re not sure if it’s conscious or unconscious."

Kilani called for more transparent and structured laws about scanner ownership, but said congressional action would be needed to modify existing loopholes.

Dems snub stand-alone “doc fix”
Democratic leaders said they weren’t interested in approving a stand-alone bill to stop an impending 27% cut in Medicare payments to doctors and urged House Republicans to pass a compromise bill extending the payroll tax holiday, according to The Hill. Read more

Poisoning is the leading cause of post-injury death in the U.S.
Poisoning, mostly by legal and illegal drugs, is the leading cause of death from injuries in the U.S., according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Read more

New device treats deep vein clots
Sky Medical released a Geko, a device that stimulates the peroneal nerve to treat deep vein thrombosis in the lower limbs. Read more

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