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I recently conducted an informal, on-the-spot, telephone survey to
determine whether Pediatric Emergency Departments get a partial or full day
immediate "reads" from a radiologist for all radiologic studies ordered.  I
was surprised that of the 21 hospitals called, the results showed the
following:  7 hospitals (33%) had 24 hour radiology readings; 6 (29%)had
formal radiology readings during the day shift only - usually ending around
6 pm; 8 hospitals (38%) the ED physicians read the films and then had a
formal reading the next day by radiology. A secondary issue is that, after
doing some investigation regarding billing practices, it appears that
delayed interpretations by radiology are considered "over-reads" for
quality control purposes only and should not be billed.

I would appreciate your thoughts and comments.

Alan L. Nager, MD
Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
Division of Emergency Medicine
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