In both the United States and Europe, efforts to reduce soaring health care costs have led to intense scrutiny of both standard and innovative uses of imaging. Given that the United States spends a larger share of its gross domestic product on health care than any other nation and also has the most varied health care financing and delivery systems in the world, it has become an especially fertile environment for developing and testing approaches to controlling health care costs and value. This report focuses on recent reforms that have had a dampening effect on imaging use in the United States and provides a glimpse of obstacles that imaging practices may soon face or are already facing in other countries. On the basis of material presented at the 2015 meeting of the International Society for Strategic Studies in Radiology, this report outlines the effects of reforms aimed at (a) controlling imaging use, (b) controlling payer expense through changes in benefit design, and (c) controlling both costs and quality through "value-based" payment schemes. Reasons are considered for radiology practices on both sides of the Atlantic about why the emphasis needs to shift from providing a large volume of imaging services to increasing the value of imaging as manifested in clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, and overall system savings. Options for facilitating the shift from volume to value are discussed, from the use of advanced management strategies that improve work-flow to the creation of programs for patient engagement, the development of new clinical decision-making support tools, and the validation of clinically relevant imaging bio-markers. Radiologists in collaboration with industry must enhance their efforts to expand the performance of comparative effectiveness research to establish the value of these initiatives, while being mindful of the importance of minimizing conflicts of interest.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging