Medicare spending on imaging tests down 21% since 2006

Medicare spending on non-invasive diagnostic imaging tests is down 21 percent since peaking in 2006, according to research published this month in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. Given such a drastic decrease, the study's authors believe federal policymakers need to consider a shift in the thinking that reimbursement cuts remain necessary to lower healthcare costs. "We … believe there are better ways to further control imaging utilization and costs," the authors said. "Meaningful tort reform, especially through limitation of noneconomic damages, would be one fruitful approach. Another would be a more aggressive approach by [the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] and Congress to the problem of self-referral through repeal of the in-office ancillary services exception to the Stark laws." Research