Incidental Chest Imaging Might Hike Hospital Costs

Yet more data suggesting that too much imaging can be a bad thing. A study in the Journal of Hospital Medicine looked at 376 patients who complained of chest pains. Researchers found that routine imaging scans found incidental concerns in more than half of the patients. Of those, however, only 7% were found to be medically significant. Researchers urged hospitals to address this situation because of the longer hospital stays and higher costs that can result.

Venkat Gundareddy, MD, the lead author, is director of the Collaborative Inpatient Medicine Service at Johnson Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore. He told HealthCareBusiness: “Our surprise came when we saw that there was a clear association with these incidental findings and increase in length of hospitalization. Though our study does not prove causality, this does speak to concerns of increased health care resource utilization.”

Source: HealthCareBusiness