Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Center for Research on Utilization of Imaging Services

Practice pattern and utilization research is done at the intersection of economics and medicine. Our faculty and resident researchers use anonymized, publically available Medicare information from more than 37 million beneficiaries—the most comprehensive database of its kind—to evaluate trends in the use and results of radiology-related services. The research team is called the Center for Research on Utilization of Imaging Services (CRUISE) and was established by Drs. David Levin, Vijay Rao, and Larry Parker in the late 1990s.

Using standardized Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes that insurers use to track individual procedures, researchers are able to analyze utilization and payment patterns for hundreds of different radiological procedures and treatments. Because of the large data sets and long time frames, conclusions often are quite robust.

This line of study has become especially salient of late due to cost cutting measures instituted by many health insurance companies. The trends and conclusions identified by CRUISE researchers enable doctors and administrators to be more precise in how they allocate clinical resources. As such, the results of these studies can have a significant impact on projections of future trends, quality improvement efforts and streamlining medical care.

Many of the Department’s residents participate in these research projects and are often given first-author credit for their analysis of and commentary on issues of care delivery. As business concerns become more imperative for clinical departments and care providers nationwide, these studies are a great way to educate trainees on the economic environment they are operating in. In this way, they can learn the medical and scientific aspects of radiology, while still remaining cognizant of larger trends.

Exposure to business and systemic analyses is a vital experience for aspiring clinical leaders who will need to understand and act in the complex and interconnected environment of 21st century healthcare.

David C. Levin, MD, Professor of Radiology and Chair Emeritus, oversees much of the resident and faculty research on imaging utilization trends and practice patterns.

To learn more, contact David C. Levin, MD.

132 South 10th Street
Suite 1090, Main Building
Philadelphia, PA 19107

(215) 955-6271
(215) 923-1562 fax

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