Though more than half of all radiology practices in the US outsource night or weekend coverage to teleradiology companies, an article in the February issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR) warns against their use.

“This kind of outsourcing and the companies in the business represent one of the most fundamental and dangerous threats to radiology in recent years,” said David C. Levin, MD, lead author of the article. “Outsourcing to teleradiology companies can create a host of real and potential problems. These include the likelihood of commoditization of the field, lowering of fees, displacement from hospital contracts and outpatient reading contracts, greater encroachment by other specialties, and lowering of quality.”

“There are several things radiologists can do to help save the specialty. First, they can take back the night. Second, they should not go to work for teleradiology companies, even on a part-time basis,” said Levin.