News Headlines Article

Reducing Scans, Improving Care
HealthLeaders Media

At Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, getting red rated is not something staff doctors would ever boast about. It means that MGH analytics has determined the physician tends to order too many high-end imaging studies—like MRIs, CTs, or PET scans—without clinical justification based on the patient’s symptoms.

Rather than revealing information that would influence a treatment decision or prognosis, those unjustified images are more likely to result in potential harm through radiation exposure, or lead to more imaging tests, patient worry, allergic reactions, or invasive procedures. Of course, this all adds to costs, which could hurt hospital scores on Medicare’s spending-per-beneficiary efficiency measure.