According to a study conducted by Harvard researchers, emergency physicians in community-hospital settings that chose to use diagnostic point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) in patient care saved patients, insurance companies, and hospitals significant sums of money, even if the results of an ultrasound did not alter a care path.
Published online Dec. 28 in the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine, the 3-month study involved ER physicians at 213-bed Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The team used data from Medicare fee Schedules published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and FairHealth to calculate cost savings that could be attributed to the decision to use POCUS. On average, they found, the use of POCUS cut $1,134 of additional diagnostic testing costs for privately insured patients, $2,826 for out‐of‐network or uninsured patients, and $182 for Medicare and Medicaid patients.
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