why are NM studies on such a decline?

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Monica in Flanders, New Jersey

75 months ago

Our case load has gone down SIGNIFICANTLY in just one year. So much so that we are closing the dept in one of our hospital so it is only open to outpatients one day a week and another hospital will be open two days a week. I work at the third hospital which is open five days a week but we have no patients. I am wondering if this is because more and more people in the USA have no health insurance or physicians just look at NM studies as useless. This is killing us. We went from seeing 12 patients a day to 2-3. It seems like in the last month , there is a conspiracy to keep patients away. I joke but the reduction in patient referrals in the last month is drastic. The hospital is full of patients and none are even being referred for scans . I know all modalities have slowed down to a degree but nothing like this. Its Scary! Any ideas why?

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Everett in Slinger, Wisconsin

70 months ago

Sorry to be so late in responding to your question. I believe that there isn't just one reason, but several:

1. Everyone is in a fiscal squeeze= Bad Economy. The decline seems to be so drastic because I believe there were many Nuc Med tests being done that would not have been necessary. Now, insurance companies (and patients) are highly scrutinizing every test and opting for the cheapest route.

2. Similar to above, more and more facilities are ordering tests based on risk stratification, which tends to weed out unneccessary testing.

3. I also believe that the isotope shortage hurt our reputation for being able to deliver. Docs simply got too used to bypassing Nuc Med.

I'm sure that there are many variables that play into this, but there's my two cents.

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