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The mission of the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute® is to establish foundational evidence for health policy and radiology practice that promotes the effective and efficient use of health care resources and improves patient care.

February 23, 2018

Interventional Radiologists & Opioid Prescriptions

A new research study by the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute assesses the opioid prescribing behavior of US interventional radiologists (IRs). The study, published online in the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR), found that IRs’ opioid prescribing varies significantly based on both physician and practice characteristics.

“The factor having the single strongest independent association with greater opioid prescribing was whether an IR demonstrably provided clinical evaluation and management services. Two additional important were practicing in the South and working in small size practices,” said Andrew Rosenkrantz, MD, MPA, lead study author, professor and director of health policy in the department of radiology at NYU Langone Health and a Neiman Institute affiliate research fellow. “While IRs’ overall opioid prescribing rate of 23.0% was considerably higher than the rate of 5.3% for all providers nationally, it was less than half of that observed in other specialties that also deal with pain management.”

The analysis was performed using several publicly available Medicare data sets. Radiologists’ Medicare claims were extracted and used to assign radiologists to subspecialties using a classification system based on Neiman Imaging Types of Services (NITOS) which was developed by the Neiman Institute. Using this approach, IRs were defined as radiologists billing the majority of their work in services identified as related to vascular and interventional radiology.

“Opioid prescribing is now the focus of much national attention. As interventional radiologists assume greater longitudinal care responsibilities, a better understanding of their opioid prescribing behavior will allow them to provide their patients the best possible care,” stated senior author Richard Duszak, MD, FACR, professor and vice chair for health policy and practice in the department of radiology and imaging sciences at Emory University and senior affiliate research fellow at the Neiman Institute. “In light of the nation’s opioid epidemic, our observations may guide educational, practice improvement, and policy efforts to optimize opioid prescribing.”

To obtain a copy of the JACR study or to arrange an interview with a Neiman Institute spokesperson, contact Nichole Gay at (703) 648-1665 or




About the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute

The Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute is one of the nation’s leading medical imaging socioeconomic research organizations. The Neiman Institute studies the role and value of radiology and radiologists in evolving health care delivery and payment systems and the impact of medical imaging on the cost, quality, safety and efficiency of health care. Visit us at and follow us on TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook.


Nichole Gay
Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute