CurveBeam Connect: Breaking Down a New Study on Weight-Bearing CT’s Impact on Cost

July 10, 2019
Vinti Singh


In this episode of the CurveBeam podcast, host Vinti Singh sat down with Dr. Martinus Richter, MD, discuss the results of his latest published study: “Results of more than 11,000 scans with weight-bearing CT – Impact on costs, radiation exposure and procedure time.” This first-of-its-kind study examined the economic implications of CT scans versus radiographs for patients.

Dr. Richter is department head of the foot and ankle orthopedic surgery section at Hospital Rummelsberg in Rummelsberg, Germany and has published numerous studies in orthopedic journals.

While previous studies have sought to measure a CT scan’s accuracy and benefit in visualization, Dr. Richter’s was among the first studies of radiation exposure, procedure time, and CT scan costs, both for the patient and for the institution.

As a result of studying 11,000 scans of 5,000 patients, Dr. Richter found a profit of 51 euros per patient by implementing weight-bearing CT scans. The study compared weight-bearing CT imaging to the combination of radiographs and traditional CT imaging.

In calculating the cost, Dr. Richter factored in the working-time cost of radiology technicians and insurance reimbursement for weight-bearing CT to payments for a combination of radiograph and CT.

In this episode, Dr. Richter also offered insight into his research and shared how he studied the radiation doses, his results, and what this means for institutions weighing all these options.

“The main cost of a weight-bearing CT is not the scan, the main cost of a weight-bearing CT scan for the patient is a bad outcome,” Dr. Richter said. “When we can finally decrease the percentage of bad outcomes with trust in three-dimensional imaging, this would be a lot of cost savings.”

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