The U.S. performs a high number of MRI exams compared to other countries
June 01, 2012
SOURCE: Data from OECD, Health Data 2012, June 2012. Compiled by PGPF.NOTE: Number of MRI exams per thousand people in 2010 or the latest data available.
The proliferation of expensive technology is a major driver of escalating health costs. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a technique that develops detailed images of the body. Physicians can use the scans diagnose a variety of ailments, including tumors, heart conditions, and bone problems. MRI machines are very expensive; providers are paid fees both to utilize the machine and to analyze results. Given the high cost of the service, and the fact that less expensive (and often equally effective) imaging options are available, some researchers have argued that MRIs are frequently used unnecessarily.
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