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MRI, CT/PET Use Soars in the U.S.

February 19, 2010
Written by: , Filed in: Practice Management
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The rate of MRIs and CT/PET scans that were ordered or provided in the U.S. tripled between 1996 and 2007, and the number of ER imaging tests quadrupled. That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control’s annual report, “Health, United States, 2009,” released this week. This year’s report features a special section on medical technology. Among other stats, the report shows that 3 to 4 percent of doctor office and hospital outpatient visits in 2007 included advanced imaging scans.

“I think most people could not conceive of going to the doctor without laboratory tests or vaccinations or X-rays or PET scans or CAT scans, and would think that hospitals and doctors that didn’t have access to those things would be pretty much in the dark ages,” the CDC’s Amy Bernstein said in a press statement.

While the CDC report doesn’t address the issue of overuse of medical technology, it does show certain trends across race and gender groups—including, for example, in the the use of mammograms for detection of early breast cancer. “There are differences by race and ethnicity where African American and white women are more likely to have had a mammogram in the last two years than Hispanic origin or Asian origin women,” Bernstein said.

Related seminar: Computed Body Tomography: The Cutting Edge


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