February 20, 2013
Reston, VA – A new report issued today by a health research institute asserts that clinically-focused guidelines to study repeat medical imaging will help lawmakers, regulators and insurers develop more effective utilization and payment policies. The report by the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute says such guidelines can ensure that patients receive essential access to care while also making more efficient use of health system resources.”Existing studies on repeat imaging use ambiguous definitions, and thus lack a consistent and effective mechanism to determine how much of this testing is appropriate. This has led to confusion and could result in actions by regulators and insurers that may not best serve patients. These guidelines can help researchers separate useful testing from that which is not, thus conserving resources and ensuring that patients get the care they need,” said Richard Duszak, MD, chief executive officer and senior research fellow of the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute.
These guidelines represent a classification system for researchers to follow when evaluating repeat medical imaging. They were developed with input from a large group of health policy researchers and clinical content experts and could be adapted to analyze a wide range of repeat non-imaging testing.
“Researchers studying repeat imaging must consider the clinical context of that imaging if health care reform is to be done right. We have access to more health care data than ever before, but researchers often lack the resources to interpret new information, how it applies to ongoing reforms and how it can be applied to better serve patients. This research framework is one of many steps forward that the Neiman Institute will help medicine take,” said Duszak.
This is the latest policy brief by the Neiman Institute, which conducts research regarding medical imaging use, quality and safety metrics, and human resources as medical payment and delivery systems evolve. Data from these efforts is the basis for true, evidence-based medical imaging policy.
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 www.neimanhpi.org and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.