1. Of course, instead of limited diagnositc imaging, the GAO could instead ask how to perform the studies cheaper…

    The other day while jogging my wife twisted her ankle. 2 days later it ‘locked’ in a flexed position.

    X-rays were normal so her orthopedist obtained an MRI. Both the radiologist and the orthopedist read the MRI as ‘normal’ (you can guess what they charged my health plan for this wisdom).

    My wife, curios to see what an MRI of her ankle looked like, while in the orthopedists office and having never seen an MRI in her life prior, looked at it for a minute and asked “what’s that”? Of course it was the osteochondral fragment that was later removed surgically.

    I have never understood why a physician needs to read most diagnostic imaging studies. Kaiser has studied this and has come to similar conclusions

    We don’t have physicians read most pap-smears. Why do we treat MRIs as any different?

    You tell me why a trained art student, say a kid from Parson’s school of design who has “they eye”, could not be trained to read an MRI?

    My guess their eyes would be better than many radiologists.

    So instead of limiting the number of studies performed, why not focus on how to do them cheaper with a similar quality outcome? We could order even more for the same price we pay.

    And if an ordering physician needs the services of a radiologist over say a trained diagnostic reading ‘mid-level’ (like a PAs or NPs used in clinical care), that physician can then request a radiology consultation.

    There is more than one way to skin this cat without letting patient access suffer.