Cardiology Visits Up, but Stress Testing Flat | Heart and Vascular Health |

My comment:  physicians are screening less.  Eliminting inappropriate screening is desirable, but will the pendulum swing too far?  Will improtant opportuniites to screen, identify and treat cardiovascular disease before serious consequences like heart attack and death be missed?


In 2011, the median number of patient visits per cardiologist topped 2,000, an increase of nearly 30% since 2004; yet, the increase in the number of stress tests performed -- including echo, SPECT, and PET -- was only 2%, according to the survey.

Six reasons for the decline in nuclear testings:

1. Increasing adoption of appropriate-use criteria

2.  Challenging economic climate(high unemployment)

3.  Higher deductibles and copays for patients

4. Concern for radiation exposure by physicians & patients
5. Hosptial system based billing (pays more)
6.  Shortage of molybdenum-99 over the last several years