Adoption and Spread of New Imaging Technology: A Case Study


Lapado, Joseph, Jill R Horwitz, Milt Weinstein, and David M Cutler. 2009. “Adoption and Spread of New Imaging Technology: A Case Study.” Health Affairs 28 (6): 1122-1132.


Technology is a major driver of health care costs. Hospitals are rapidly acquiring one new technology in particular: 64-slice computed tomography (CT), which can be used to image coronary arteries in search of blockages. We propose that it is more likely to be adopted by hospitals that treat cardiac patients, function in competitive markets, are reimbursed for the procedure, and have favorable operating margins. We find that early adoption is related to cardiac patient volume but also to operating margins. The paucity of evidence informing this technology's role in cardiac care suggests that its adoption by cardiac-oriented hospitals is premature. Further, adoption motivated by operating margins reinforces concerns about haphazard technology acquisition.


Last updated on 12/04/2012