Florida Medicare beneficiaries spent more in 2006 on in-office imaging than any other state, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Ringing in at approximately $472 per enrollee, Florida spent more than any other state, where Medicare patients averaged more than $400 on imaging. Beneficiaries in most states averaged less than $300, according to the South Florida Business Journal (SFBJ).
The GAO found that Medicare spending for imaging doubled from 2000 to 2006, when it reached $14.1 billion, exceeding the growth rate of the federal program. The report questioned whether physicians with imaging equipment in their offices were profiting from equipment overuse and many imaging societies have criticized the GAO’s findings as inaccurate and incomplete. Since the report’s publication, members of Congress have responded with bills addressing the issue.
The SFBJ reported that Florida insurance companies and industry studies believe that the trend is replicated in the private sector, but for local businesses and their employees, the “soaring utilization of medical imaging is a big reason they foot the bill for higher health insurance premiums.”