Medicare Imaging Standards Include Payment Penalty


The risk of overexposure to CT scan radiation has been a hot-button issue in the medical community for several years. In October 2009, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center announced four recommendations to improve CT scan safety after more than 200 patients at the Los Angeles-based organization were exposed to high doses of radiation.

Last year, Time magazine reported that the ease and accuracy of CT scans has “fueled an alarming level of overuse.”

In January, a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that CT scans have been part of an overutilization of costly imaging tests in the diagnosis of headache pain.

The XR-29 CT scanner standards are significant step forward in helping to ensure CT scan safety, Wald says. “The new MITA standards address some important technical obstacles to efficient dose monitoring and radiation safety management in the imaging practice. [The standards provide] important guidance to manufacturers of imaging equipment to create this technology, which will ultimately find its way into the installed base so that it can help protect patients and staff.”

Click here to read the full article.