Thursday, May 14, 2015

Report: 17M Women Could Lose Mammogram Coverage Under Draft Recommendations From USPSTF

McClatchy (5/14, Pugh) reports that a new analysis from Avalere Health “estimates that 17 million women ages 40 to 49 could lose free annual mammogram coverage if an influential medical panel adopts its proposed breast cancer screening guidelines.” The article explains that the ACA requires many health plans to cover certain preventive services at no cost to patients if the procedures receive A or B grades from the US Preventive Services Task Force. Last month, the task force issued a draft recommendation that “put a C grade on breast-cancer screening for women ages 40 to 49,” meaning health plans would no longer have to fully cover mammograms for this group. McClatchy adds that the “American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network all recommend annual mammograms for women 40 and over.”

CNBC (5/14) reports that Caroline Pearson, senior vice president at Avalere, said, “The USPSTF is working to balance the lifesaving benefits of breast cancer screening against the potential risks for overdiagnosis and unnecessary treatment for lower-risk women,” adding, “By linking the ACA rules to USPSTF decisions, coverage for preventive services will continue to evolve as new research and evidence becomes available.”

The Wall Street Journal (5/14) reports in its “Washington Wire” blog that a bipartisan group of lawmakers has already written a letter urging HHS to disregard the draft recommendations.    Aunt Minnie (5/14) adds that USPSTF “is taking public comment on the proposed recommendations through May 18.” Also reporting the story are The Hill (5/14, Ferris) and the Washington Examiner (5/14). 


Categories: 2015, May, News, Policy and Economics, Screening and MammographyNumber of views: 8266