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Medical societies float draft dose reduction measures

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | April 25, 2011
A handful of medical societies are floating 11 draft measures for reducing patient exposure to ionizing radiation during CT imaging exams and cutting down on what the groups call one of Medicare's "fastest growing" expenses.

The measures, developed by the American Medical Association's Physician Consortium for Performance group, in collaboration with the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American College of Radiology and the American Board of Radiology, could be used for pay-for-performance schemes or for continuing education credits, according to American Medical News.

Among the nearly one dozen performance measures are: reporting to a dose index registry, using pediatric-specific CT imaging protocols and looking for earlier studies from an electronic archive.
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The focus of these measures, released last month, is CT imaging, even though the groups agreed that "CT imaging was not the only ionizing radiology imaging modality of concern." However, they noted that rapid growth in CT and other radiation-delivering imaging "poses a major and growing threat to the public's health."

About 72 million CT exams were performed in 2007, up from 3 million in 1980, the groups said. And in the United States, the per capita exposure to radiation from imaging exams increased sixfold from 1980 to 2006.

The PCPI is soliciting public comments on the measures until end of day Friday. To comment, go here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/radiationdose

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