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Non-radiologists – physicians or otherwise – with on-site imaging services are two-and-half times more likely to order imaging than clinicians with no financial interest in imaging, says a study published in the July edition of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

The MEDLINE data-based meta-analysis, led by Ramsey K. Kilani, MD of the Duke University Medical School in Durham, N.C., included five studies considering nearly 77 million episodes of care. The researchers found that non-radiologist self-referrers ordered imaging from 1.6 to 4.5 times more than radiologist referrers, with an average of 2.48 times more than radiologists. That translated into a 59.7 percent of imaging being attributable to self-referral.

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