In 1996 healthcare expenditures in the United States exceeded one trillion dollars. By the year 2003 it is estimated they will exceed two trillion dollars. According to figures from the American College of Radiology (ACR), diagnostic radiology accounts for at least 4% of annual healthcare expenditures. In some cases radiologists have demonstrated that using more radiology may save money from other parts of the healthcare system, for example by avoiding surgery when the diagnosis of appendicitis is in doubt. However, some studies suggest there may be as much as 20% too much radiology in the medical system. If this is so, there is no valid information about which 20% of the forty plus billion dollars spent annually on radiology should be eliminated, and little information about when we should use more radiology.
KeywordsPrimary Care Physician Acute Appendicitis Radiology Study Medical Utilization Utilization Management
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