Engaged patients and families, alert: the NY Times reports (here) on a form of unwarranted practice variation that has been exposing elders to excess radiation. Many smaller hospitals have been needlessly exposing their Medicare patients to double CT scans on the same day – one with a contrast dye, one without. Some do it on 80% of patients, asserting that “more information is better.”
You can reduce risk and perhaps stress on your elders, and lower Medicare costs: tell such hospitals modern academic medical centers do double scans rarely or not at all.
(For more on practice variation, see our previous posts on it.)