ACR highlights importance of medical imaging, CDS

The American College of Radiology (ACR) has shared a statement on new research that found imaging utilization is on the rise. The study, published in JAMA, explored utilization of CT, MRI and other modalities from 2000 to 2016 in both the United States and Ontario, Canada.

The ACR statement focused on the numerous benefits of medical imaging, including the fact that they typically occur in place of more invasive procedures.

“Scans reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and length of hospital stays,” according to the statement. “Imaging is directly linked to greater life expectancy and declines in mortality. Americans with greater access to imaging live longer than those with lesser access.”

The statement also emphasized that clinical decision support (CDS) will begin to have a much larger impact on imaging utilization on Jan. 1, 2020, when CMS requires providers to consult appropriate use criteria before ordering advanced imaging examinations.

“The ACR looks forward to working with CMS, insurers, referring providers, radiologists and other medical professionals to implement this sensible, quality-based approach to imaging utilization management,” according to the statement.