Why did medicare pay $25 million in double CT scans?

CT Scans for Fun and Profit?


So read a headline of the local Houston Chronicle  (Sunday, June 26, 2011)  The article talked about how Houston area hospitals are putting patients in harm’s way to enhance their profits.


It appears that a CT scan is heavy on the radiation:  350 times the normal chest x-ray.  Depending on the hospital district, according to a 2009 study, patients in the San Francisco hospitals endured 442 times the normal radiation when they received a CT scan.


The National Cancer Institute published a study in 2009 that stated that CT scans led to 29,000 excess cancer cases a year.  “Last week the New York Times ran a disturbing article documenting that hundreds of US hospitals routinely gave patients powerful C scans twice in one day.”


Here are the area hospital statistics on double CT scans:


St. Joseph’s Medical center                              29%

West Houston Medical Center              46%

St. Luke’s Medical Center (Pasadena)  31%

Christus St Elizabeth (Beaumont)                      39%

Medical Center of SE Texas (Port Arthur)        74%


“Bushong (professor of radiology at Baylor College of Medicine) said 70 million CT scans are performed every year in the United States.  Medicare paid about $25 Million for double scans in 2008”


Knowledge is power….


Until next time,