WASHINGTON: The outsourcing of medical services like reading radiology images, MRIs and ultrasound to countries such as India has sparked a flurry of regulatory initiatives in the US, including proposed state and federal legislation to ensure that doctors performing the work are properly trained and licensed.
The proposed regulatory action also calls for verifying if patients were notified whenever information about them is transmitted elsewhere, especially overseas, the Washington Post said in a special report.
Democratic Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Democratic Representative Edward Markey have introduced legislation that will require patient care in advance before such reading for them is done abroad.
Medical outsourcing happens because there is a shortage of specialists who can do the job in the US. And they enthusiastically welcome some of it being done in India and elsewhere because it saves them from long hours of work.
India is particularly favoured for such services because of the time zone differences. Other countries performing such services include Australia, Switzerland, Israel and Brazil
Kalyanpur, the paper notes, runs one of an increasing number of nighthawk companies operating in the United States and overseas to take advantage of the time zone differences and the latest technology by having radiologists reading images from far-flung places.