Headache imaging a waste?

Legislation on the topic has won unanimous support in both chambers. Most recently, a measure that Rep. Greg Heartsill, a Republican from Melcher-Dallas, calls a “hybrid” of House and Senate versions overwhelmingly passed Wednesday in the House, 97-0.

Democratic lawmakers worry that changes made to the bill, like the removal of reporting requirements and a victim support fund, take away from making the victim the priority.

But Heartsill says programs and efforts have already been established to address these provisions.

Both parties have agreed to work together to nail down finer points of the legislation.

FOREST CITY, Iowa – When she feels a headache coming on life for Christal Dutcher, from Forest City, can be unbearable.

“I would get them so bad I’d have to hide myself in my room in complete darkness, I couldn’t play with my kids,” said Dutcher.

And playing with her kids is important, especially since she’s a daycare provider as well.

When her headaches continued to get worse Christal decided to go to the doctor for help.

“They tried a preventative medicine on top of a prescription that would help it but the preventative medicine wasn’t working,” said Dutcher.

And she’s not alone.

Many people who deal headaches and migraine seek a doctor’s advice.

Christal never asked for a MRI or CT scan.

But according to a recent study, many do, and sometimes it’s really not needed.

“Well I let them know that they are common and they’re subjective. People can say I have the worst headache of my life but they’re talking to us like its no big deal so it’s a difficult complaint to deal with because of pain is subjective,” said Dr. Charity D Baker, DO at West Fork Family Medicine.

And that pain has racked up one billion dollars in CT or MRI scan costs in the last year.

“Not surprising to hear that at all it’s overkill. It’s too many CT scans, on too many people, too many times often times the same person,” said Dr. Baker.

And according to the study by JAMA Medical Institute, experts advise listening to what your doctor feels is the best treatment option.

As for Dutcher, she’s finally found something to bring her some relief.

“I just take over the counter medicine for it now, it just helps me,” said Dutcher.

Experts say brain scans done for headaches detect serious problems in one to three percent of people.

Those in the study suggested that if folks had to pay out of pocket, eventually those scans done for patient reassurance may just go down.

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