Study Calls CMS Measure on CT Brain Scans Inaccurate

March 8, 2012


A measure to identify unnecessary CT brain scans in emergency departments is not accurate, according to a new study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine and reported in MedPage Today.


The study found that the imaging efficiency measure OP-15, or Outpatient Measure 15, which was developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to determine whether a patient with a headache needs a CT scan, identified many scans as inappropriate that the study authors concluded were clinically necessary. The study concluded that the measure is not reliable because it is based on CMS adminsitrative data which cannot factor-in the patient’s history or all the symptoms the physician considered in making the decision to order a brain CT.


Click to read study abstract in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Click to read the report in MedPage Today (free registration required)