Overuse of Chest CT Scans: The Massachusetts Story

Double scanning CT patients: Beth Israel Hospital in Needham is nearly three times the national average, according to The Times

A big investigation in The New York Times over the weekend documents the outrageous overuse of CT scans by medical providers. The report found that “hundreds of hospitals across the country needlessly exposed patients to radiation by scanning their chests twice on the same day, according to federal records and interviews with researchers.”

The excellent interactive map accompanying the story allows you to search by state to see whether your favorite hospital is double scanning. In Massachusetts, according to the The Times map, most of the hospitals are well below the national average for double scanning, which is 5.4%. That is all but one: in 2008, at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Needham, 16% of chest CT scan patients (203 patients in total) were scanned twice in the same day.

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