Why healthcare AI treatments cost more

Mammograms read by artificial intelligence don't have a billing code so radiologists may pass the extra $40 to $100 in out-of-pocket costs on to patients, The New York Times reported.

The financial ramifications are just one angle patients — and providers — must consider when deciding to use healthcare AI. Others include how well the technology works among a diverse patient population and whether it can improve disease survival rates, according to the April 8 story.

"There's a need for more diverse training and testing of these AI tools and algorithms in order to develop them across different races and different ethnicities," Katerina Dodelzon, MD, a breast imaging radiologist at New York City-based NewYork-Presbyterian, told the newspaper. "AI is just a tool that learns based on what it sees."

Some of the approximately two dozen AI mammography tools approved by the FDA are either being tested by hospitals or offered at a small number of clinics, The Times reported.

Health systems that aren't charging patients for the added price tag of AI mammograms might be absorbing the costs themselves or using the tools strictly for research purposes at this point, according to the story.

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