The widely used multireader multicase ROC study design for comparing imaging modalities is the fully crossed (FC) design: every reader reads every case of both modalities. We investigate paired split-plot (PSP) designs that may allow for reduced cost and increased flexibility compared with the FC design. In the PSP design, case images from two modalities are read by the same readers, thereby the readings are paired across modalities. However, within each modality, not every reader reads every case. Instead, both the readers and the cases are partitioned into a fixed number of groups and each group of readers reads its own group of cases—a split-plot design. Using a U-statistic based variance analysis for AUC (i.e., area under the ROC curve), we show analytically that precision can be gained by the PSP design as compared with the FC design with the same number of readers and readings. Equivalently, we show that the PSP design can achieve the same statistical power as the FC design with a reduced number of readings. The trade-off for the increased precision in the PSP design is the cost of collecting a larger number of truth-verified patient cases than the FC design. This means that one can trade-off between different sources of cost and choose a least burdensome design. We provide a validation study to show the iMRMC software can be reliably used for analyzing data from both FC and PSP designs. Finally, we demonstrate the advantages of the PSP design with a reader study comparing full-field digital mammography with screen-film mammography.