A hospital, which is a medium-sized hospital , took MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) for 1451 patients complaining of ‘headache and dizziness’ symptoms in 2021 . Among them, 98.1% (n = 1423) had three or more MRIs , including special imaging of the brain and cerebrovascular system , at the same time. Complex imaging like this is necessary only for seriously ill patients. However, as the Moon Jae-in administration advocated strengthening medical coverage and applied health insurance to up to three types of MRI composite scans, composite scans were conducted even for those who came to the hospital with simple symptoms.
According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare on the 5th, 47.9% of medical institutions that conducted MRI tests on patients with ‘headache and dizziness’ in 2021 took three or more types. What is noteworthy is that the ratio of composite imaging is higher in small and medium-sized hospitals than in large hospitals. Hospitals with 30 or more beds accounted for안전놀이터 57.5%, and those with 100 or more beds accounted for 51.5%. In the case of tertiary general hospitals (large hospitals) where severe patients are concentrated, this rate was 43.1%. With ‘Moon Jae-in Care’, MRI health insurance coverage has been expanded
from the brain and cerebrovascular in 2018 to the eyes, ears, face, abdomen and chest in 2019, and the spine in 2022. In the case of brain MRI , the patient’s burden was reduced from 420,000 won (hospital-level standard) to 110,000 won. As the cost became cheaper, the number of patients who wished for the test increased, and hospitals that thought of profit were actively recommending the test. MRI treatment costs exploded tenfold from 51.3 billion won in 2018 to 593.9 billion won in 2021. In particular, it was found that MRI treatment was overused in small and medium-sized hospitals . Brain MRI treatment costs in 2021 for hospitals with 30 or more beds increased 6.6 times from 2017, before the benefit expansion, and the increase is much larger than that of tertiary general hospitals (1.7 times). One medical official said, “ MRIHe said, “There is no reason not to increase tests in small and medium-sized hospitals, as the machine is turned on several times and profits are made through health insurance, and patients are satisfied by saying, ‘The inspection was made sure’.” Tertiary general hospitals basically have a lot of patients, so there is a limit to increasing MRI scans.
As the health insurance financial burden grows, the Yoon Seok-yeol government is strengthening MRI standards. From September of this year, when taking MRI of the brain or cerebrovascular vessel for headache or dizziness , there must be an abnormal finding in the neurological examination to apply for health insurance. Only two types of combined imaging are permitted, except for exceptional circumstances, such as concerns about cerebrovascular hemorrhage. Professor Kwon Yong-jin of Seoul National University Hospital said, “We need to make up for the hole in Moon Care, which only increased health insurance spending without reaching the health insurance coverage target, and strive to focus on essential medical care with the current health insurance finances leaking from unnecessary places.”