Public Release: 

Regional variation in Medicare imaging utilization is considerably less than regional variation in imaging costs

American College of Radiology

The January issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR®) focuses on a variety of issues relating to clinical practice, practice management, health services and policy, and radiology education and training. Topics to be covered include the future of imaging biomarkers in radiologic practice; the management of incidental abdominal computed tomography (CT) findings; regional variation in Medicare imaging utilization and expenditures; high CT scan utilization in claims data; CMS cuts to breast imaging; and strategies for incorporating radiology into early medical school curricula.

Articles include:

Regional Variation in Medicare Imaging Utilization and Expenditures: 2007-2011 Trends and Comparison With Other Health Services
Andrew B. Rosenkrantz, M.D.
Regional variation in the utilization of imaging, which showed minimal change between 2007 and 2011, was considerably less than regional variation in imaging costs, as well as considerably less than regional variation in the utilization of other major health service categories.

Exploratory Analysis of High CT Scan Utilization Claims Data
James W. Begun, Ph.D.; William J. Riley, Ph.D; James S. Hodges Ph.D.
Among patients with CT scan claims in 2009 and 2010 in one health plan, aggregate-level review of claims revealed no striking anomalies in associations of patient and referring physician characteristics with higher utilization.

CMS Cuts Expand to Breast Imaging
Ezequiel Silva III, M.D.
Has CMS gone too far this time? The new year brings more payment reductions to radiology, but this year, a new subset of our services has been affected: breast interventions. Ezequiel Silva III, M.D., co-chair of the American College of Radiology Commission on Economics, proposes three budget neutral actions Congress could take to immediately protect breast care for America's 150 million women.

The Future of Imaging Biomarkers in Radiologic Practice: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Annual ACR Forum
Arun Krishnaraj, M.D., M.P.H.; Jeffrey C. Weinreb, M.D.; Paul H. Ellenbogen, M.D.; Bibb Allen, Jr., M.D.; Alexander Norbash, M.D., MHCM; Ella Kazerooni, M.D.
The 2013 ACR Forum focused on the emerging importance of imaging biomarkers in the era of precision and personalized medicine and centered on the themes of integrating imaging biomarkers into clinical practice, education and training, bioinformatics and promoting imaging biomarker research in radiology.

ACR Members' Response to JACR White Paper on the Management of Incidental Abdominal CT Findings
Lincoln L. Berland, M.D.; Stuart G. Silverman, M.D.; Alec J. Megibow, M.D., M.P.H.; William W. Mayo-Smith, M.D.
A survey of ACR members indicates that the 2010 JACR white paper on incidental abdominal CT findings has led to a reduction in recommendations for additional imaging for such findings.

Strategies for Incorporating Radiology Into Early Medical School Curricula
David M. Naeger, M.D.; Emily M. Webb, M.D.; Leslie Zimmerman, M.D.; Brett M. Elicker, M.D.
Medical students benefit from an integrated curriculum that focuses on appropriate ordering of radiology studies, an intuitive understanding of imaging modalities and understanding the patient experience.


For additional information, or to schedule an interview with a JACR spokesperson, please contact Heather Williams at 703-390-9822 or

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