Managing the Use of Diagnostic Imaging

Diagnostic imaging is one of the fastest-growing and most expensive elements of healthcare. When unnecessary MRI, CT scans, and PET scans are ordered, the gains can be minimal and the expense high.

A multi-disciplinary team developed evidence-based criteria to guide the use of advanced imaging. Now physicians can order advanced procedures only when certain criteria are met.

These protocols reduced the unnecessary use of imaging by 39 percent in two years, saving more than $3.2 million annually. There was a 14 percent reduction in MRIs for back pain and a 64 percent decrease in MRIs for brain and other neurological problems.

Although the Everett Clinic lost more than $1.5 million in revenue in just one year, managing the use of imaging by ordering the right test at the right time reduces costs for patients and insurance carriers/sponsors.