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Report Finds CT Use Still Growing, But Slowly

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A new report finds that U.S. CT use continued to grow in 2011, but at a moderate rate of 4 percent.

The 2012 CT Market Outlook Report by IMV Medical Information Division of Des Plaines, Illinois, found that an estimated 85.3 million CT procedures were performed in 8,465 different U.S. locations in 2011, compared with 81.9 million in 2010.

An IMV news release quoted Lorna Young, IMV’s senior director for market research, as saying:

This 4 percent growth rate signifies a slowdown in the average annual growth rate compared to the early 2000s, when CT growth was in the double digits.

She added: “While CT procedure growth has slowed compared to a decade ago, 58 percent of the surveyed sites indicated that they anticipated their procedures will grow in 2012 compared to 2011, and an additional 34 percent anticipate that their procedures will stay at the same level this year.”

Because reimbursement rates are more favorable for CT scans performed at hospitals, the hospitals are shifting their outpatients to hospital-owned imaging centers and away from freestanding clinics, the report found.

Other tidbits:

  • Of the hospital respondents, 80 percent said a major priority was managing increases in the number of emergency patients.
  • Inpatient procedures made up 34 percent of total procedures in 2001 but only 18 percent in 2011.
  • Of those planning to buy CT scanners from 2012 through 2015, more than two-thirds said they intended to buy machines with 64 or more slices.
  • In 2007, 67 percent of CT procedures used contrast media. In 2011, the percentage was 53 percent.

IMV is a marketing research and consulting firm founded in 1977. It based its report on survey responses from 405 radiology administrators nationwide. It will be happy to sell you a copy of the 2012 CT Market Outlook Report for a mere $11,700.

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