Altarum Institute has received an award of $8.4 million from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to curb unnecessary medical imaging in Southeast Michigan.
Altarum and its partners United Physicians (a physician organisation of independent doctors practicing in Southeast Michigan) and the Detroit Medical Center Physician Hospital Organisation will work to increase adherence to guidelines developed by the American College of Radiology that indicate when imaging tests are appropriate. The program will also enhance clinician awareness of previous imaging studies that might preclude the need for new tests, and improve the patient population’s understanding of the reasons why imaging studies may not be appropriate in certain cases. The ultimate goal is a systematic approach to reducing unnecessary medical imaging.
While imaging studies such as MRIs and CT scans are invaluable to the practice of medicine, there is concern that inappropriate use of these technologies adds unnecessary costs and risks to patient care. 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.
The three-year project will embed 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.
Altarum Institute ( www.altarum.org ) integrates objective research and client-centered consulting skills to deliver comprehensive, systems-based solutions that improve health and health care. Altarum employs more than 400 individuals and is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., with additional offices in the Washington, D.C., area; Atlanta, Ga.; Portland, Maine; and San Antonio, Texas.