Doctors with a financial interest in magnetic resonance imaging (M.R.I.) machines may be more likely to order unnecessary scans for patients, according to a new Radiology study.
Researchers found that more patients received M.R.I. scans that indicate nothing is wrong if they are referred by a doctor who owns the machine. Of the 700 knee M.R.I. scans studied, 33 percent of patients indicating no abnormalities were referred by doctors who owned the machine, as compared with 25 percent of patients referred by those without a financial stake in the device.
“There is a potential for bias in certain settings,” said Dr. Matthew P. Lungren, the study’s lead author and a fellow in radiology at Duke. “The doctor should be transparent and acknowledge his interest. That should be disclosed.” Read the full details here:
Physicians who own and operate MRI scanners, and stand to make money if they are used, are unsurprisingly found to order an MRI test for their patients.
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