The opportunities and challenges posed by the rapid growth of diagnostic imaging

J Am Coll Radiol. 2005 May;2(5):407-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2005.02.012.


As insurer representatives, the authors appreciate the benefits associated with the development and evolution of imaging. At the same time, they are concerned about the escalating costs associated with the use of these and other technologies. In 2003, Booz Allen Hamilton reported that diagnostic imaging was the most costly type of health care technology. The use of diagnostic imaging is increasing rapidly. The number of imaging procedures is projected to grow by 26% by 2008, when almost half a billion procedures will be done each year. Health plans have undertaken a variety of responses to these trends and to address concerns about maintaining the quality and affordability of care as imaging services have proliferated rapidly. The challenge for health plans, for radiologists, and for referring physicians is how to reduce the use of unnecessary or inappropriate imaging while ensuring access to clinically valuable imaging, especially in a period of rapid technological advancement and increased use. The BlueCross BlueShield Association and Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield plans are exploring ways to collaborate with the ACR and other specialty societies to promote the safe, effective, and efficient provision of imaging services.

MeSH terms

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Plans / economics
  • Cost Control
  • Diagnostic Imaging / economics*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Health Care Reform
  • Health Planning / economics
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health, Reimbursement*
  • Male
  • Policy Making
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • United States