Need for Anesthesia Increases in Pediatric MRI Patients
Upon obtaining insurance claims data, researchers examined the MRI data of patients < 18 years of age that resulted in 17,221 MRI encounters and 18,543 separate exams, which averaged out to about 11 to 12 encounters per 10,000 member-months. The ages of the children in each encounter were grouped into 1 to 6 years old, 7 to 12 years old and 12 to 18 years old. Each encounter was classified by its procedure code for anesthesia or sedation.
The study found the need for anesthesia to increase from 21% in 2011 to 28% in 2014. The highest percentage of increased use was found in the group aged 1 to 6 years oldand the lowest percentage of increased use was in children aged 7 to 12 years. However, the increase was not attributable to any specific demographic or type of exam.
The findings mean pediatric patients undergoing MRI who require sedation have increased in the share of costs from 22% in 2011 to 33% in 2014. This means it can cause problems for ACO cost containment.