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Nov 2011

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Monsters and Surgical Vampires

Arch Surg. 2011;146(11):1333-1334. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2011.284

Inappropriate and redundant ordering of laboratory tests is a well-known driver of high medical costs.1 The article titled “Surgical Vampires and Rising Health Care Expenditure” by Stuebing and Miner2 highlights the fact that physicians are unaware of the costs of these laboratory tests and unaware of the need for greater price transparency. Moreover, after reporting laboratory charges to surgical teams, Stuebing and Miner2 found that expenditures were reduced by almost a third, resulting in $54 967 in savings in 11 weeks. In addition to the overuse of laboratory tests, imaging is another major contributor to wasteful hospital expenditures.3