Although declining reimbursement led to a fall in sales of 64-slice CT scanners in 2007, practices with sufficient volume can still make their technology investment pay off, thus bringing marketing to the fore in the battle to maintain or increase market share. Despite the decline in sales, 64-slice scanners are still selling, and with recent innovations in the field — such as Toshiba’s Aquilion ONE, a dynamic volume CT with 320 detector rows with 0.5mm elements — the challenge for both new and established practices is keeping the cardiac CT scanner busy enough to at least break even.
Insurers and the government may not be on board, but the medical community sure is: when it comes to improving patient care, cardiac CT is a must-have technology. But depending on the size and scope of your practice, department or hospital, the business case is a little less clear. Clouding the picture are uneven reimbursement rates across the country, the steep learning curve toward reading proficiency and the expense of the equipment and third-party advanced visualization software.