Monday, April 17, 2006

OK to farm out your diagnosis to a distant land?

…Five hospitals here in the Valley of the Sun are using an overseas radiology service to read scans taken at night while our hometown docs are piling up the zzz’s.

…The company, Nighthawk Radiology, is an American company and its CEO says he won’t “let anything go wrong” letting radiologists in Australia take a peek at your x-rays.

…He insists the doctors in Australia are Americans who moved there. These doctors are also licensed in Arizona.

…They also point out that the docs Down Under are fresh and alert due to a 17-hour time difference.

…Also, the local Arizona docs supposedly take a look at the CT scans, MRIs, and x-rays taken during the night the second they roll into the office.

…The radiologists love not getting night calls. “It has changed our business,” crowed one.

…Basically, no one tells the patients because “they think the ED doc is reading the x-ray anyway,” said one radiologist.

…One question here: HA wonders why fabulous, board-certified, malpractice-insured docs moved to Australia in such numbers.

…She is just askin’.

…Of course, HA is just bitter. She was once sent home from an ED with a paralyzed intestine, went back hours later and said this is still bad, they still said, no, you’re fine, go home, and then (sheepishly) came back in the little room and said: “Sorry, we were looking at yesterday’s x-ray, you have to be admitted.”

….WHO was looking at it, again, myte?

…Oh, that’s right, you’re an American.

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