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Medicare imaging volume declines 2.5 percent

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | December 16, 2011
The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), a trade group, said the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) confirmed its gloomy projections by reporting that fee-for-service Medicare imaging service utilization declined 2.5 percent last year.

During a two-day policy meeting which began Thursday, MedPAC, which advises Congress on Medicare policy, said that imaging utilization dipped slightly after a decade of growth.

In slides hosted on its website, the group said imaging grew 85 percent from 2000 to 2009, before slipping 2.5 percent last year. The slides come from a presentation given Thursday afternoon.

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MedPAC noted that the dip came as questions were raised about the overuse of medical imaging services.

Earlier in the fall, MITA said an analysis of Medicare claims showed that the amount spent on imaging per beneficiary dropped 13.2 percent since 2006, when the Deficit Reduction Act took effect. The group also said that imaging use per beneficiary dropped 3 percent last year.

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