Monday, March 2, 2009

T = Tesla

The New York Times just posted an interesting article about how medical scans cost the same regardless of quality. Basically, patients are charged the same rate for being scanned with a ten year old low resolution MRI scanner as with a state of the art piece of equipment. The implication is that the older scans are essentially useless and that patients are being charged exorbitant fees for nothing.

You can read the article here.

I've actually heard about a related issue where patients are being charged more to be scanned with a 3T MRI scanner than a 1.5T. This might seem reasonable except for the fact that most 3T scanners are set up for research purposes not medical scans. SBU hospital tried to get permission to use our new (3T) research scanner... but the doors of the building are (thanks to some architectural blundering) too narrow for a gurney.

You know, the more time I spend inside hospitals, the happier I am that I decided to not be a "real" doctor. All I have to do is fund myself, publish tons of papers, and deal with undergraduate students.

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