Newer CT scanners drastically reduce the amount of radiation exposure for patients, according to a new study that involved nine sites in the United States and Saudi Arabia.
The researchers compared radiation exposure from first-generation 64-slice single-source and dual-source scanners to that from the new generation of 128-slice dual-source scanners with high-pitch capability. The newer machines reduced overall dosage by 61 … read more »
The pressure seems to be building on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to have Medicare pay for annual low-dose CT lung cancer screening for older at-risk adults.
Both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives have sent letters to CMS backing the coverage. The Senate letter had Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, as … read more »
People even vaguely familiar with proton radiation therapy know two things about the machines that create the proton beams: they’re huge, and they’re expensive. In Dresden, Germany, medical physicist and PhD student Umar Masood has created a new design that cuts the size in half and trims the expense as well.
Masood works at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) research laboratory. He’s lead … read more »
Imaging gets prominent mention in the much-talked-about article “Measuring Low-Value Care in Medicine,” published online Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The article concludes that 26 “low-value” procedures cost Medicare anywhere from $1.9 billion (using its most specific measures, minimizing false positives) to $8.5 billion (using its most sensitive measures, minimizing false negatives) in 2009. It summed up its contentions thus:
In this national … read more »
Switching low-income women in Massachusetts from free, federally subsidized mammography screening to a system with insurance-based payments apparently had little effect on how often they received mammograms, according to a new study.
So, no real news and therefore no big deal, right?
Well, actually, it is a big deal, according to the editor of the journal that published the study:
There are lessons … read more »
Two radiotracers commonly used in lung scans have received huge price increases—in one case, a hike of more than 2,000 percent.
Jubilant DraxImage of Montreal, Canada, has increased the prices of macroaggregated albumin (MAA) and diethylenetriamine pentaacetate (DTPA). Both are used for ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) lung scans, which are most often performed in cases of suspected pulmonary embolism.
Mark Tulchinsky, MD, of Penn … read more »
John L. Ulmer, MD, doesn’t mince words when he discusses the implications of a new study about radiology and electronic health records that was published in this month’s issue of Health Affairs:
In my mind, it would be below the standard of care to practice radiology and to interpret imaging studies without access to the EHR.
Dr. Ulmer is professor of radiology and director … read more »
Doctors from opposing sides of the mammogram debate have jointly called for more involvement by individual women in decisions about whether they should receive screening mammograms.
At the World Congress on the Menopause, which took place Thursday through Sunday in Cancun, Mexico, Eugenio Paci, MD, of the Institute for the Study and Prevention of Cancer in Florence, Italy, presented findings from … read more »
You might think a false-positive result from a mammogram would make women shy away from the procedure. However, according to a new study published online this week in JAMA Internal Medicine, women who had received mammogram false positives actually expressed more willingness to go for future breast cancer screening than those who had not.
False positives did increase anxiety, but not … read more »
A new European study with significant ethical implications found that brain imaging did a good job of identifying the patients in a vegetative or minimally conscious state who would eventually return to full consciousness.
An article about the research was published online last week in The Lancet. The journal also published an accompanying commentary that explored some ramifications of the study. For … read more »