Collaboration nabs $8.4M grant to curb unnecessary medical imaging

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Altarum Institute and its partners, United Physicians (a physician organization of independent doctors practicing in Southeast Michigan) and the Detroit Medical Center Physician Hospital Organization, have been awarded $8.4 million from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to develop and employ a systemic model to reduce unnecessary medical imaging in Southeast Michigan.

The three-year project will embed American College of Radiology clinical guidelines in the image ordering process, leverage health information exchange capabilities to increase awareness of past imaging results and use patient education campaigns to offset patient-induced demand for medically unnecessary imaging.

According to Altarum Institute Vice President Dan Armijo, this effort in Southeast Michigan will give physicians the tools they need to better understand when imaging studies are truly needed. “We demand a lot of our physicians. We expect them to stay abreast of rapidly-evolving medical evidence and depend on them to address misinformation patients have obtained on their own. We also want them to take responsibility for the health of populations whose behaviors are outside of their control and to run their practices as efficient businesses. In essence, this project is about empowering physicians to provide better care, by making it a little easier to decide when to order an imaging study.”