FRANKLIN, Tenn., May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- New research showing a more than 30 percent annual increase in the use of high-tech imaging scans in older cancer patients underscores the need for evidence-based protocols in cancer care, said MedSolutions (www.medsolutions.com ), a leading provider of medical management services.
According to an article published in the April 28, 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the use of CT scans and PET scans in cancer patients covered by Medicare has risen significantly in recent years. Costs associated with these tests are growing faster than total cancer care costs in Medicare patients. Both CT and PET scans expose patients to high levels of potentially dangerous radiation.
"These findings illustrate the need for broader adoption of evidence-based protocols in cancer care," said Gregg Allen, M.D., chief medical officer of MedSolutions. "Advanced imaging is essential to proper cancer diagnosis, staging and treatment, and some ongoing imaging in cancer is entirely appropriate. However, due to rapidly evolving advances in and application of medical technology, many physicians need greater support in determining when the benefits of a test outweigh its cost and risk. These benefits and risks should also be shared with and clearly understood by patients and caregivers."
MedSolutions' oncology management program uses evidence-based guidelines from nationally recognized oncology organizations to support appropriate use of diagnostic imaging, radiation