Aunt Minnie (8/24) reports that “health insurer Cigna said it will now cover breast screening exams performed with digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT).” This reverses “a decision made late last year” by the insurer.
DOT Med News (8/23, Dubinsky) reports, “According to a new study conducted by the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute, mammography may provide an opportunity for the expanded use of bundled payments in the radiology field,” researchers found. The article quotes Dr. Geraldine McGinty, vice chair of the American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors and a member of the Neiman Institute’s advisory board, who “said in a statement, ‘As the US health care delivery system transitions from FFS to value based payments, it’s important that we [radiologists] are at the table to ensure that our patients have access to high quality imaging.’” Dr. McGinty added, “Shaping payment policy to support that access is at the core of the ACR’s mission.”
The Los Angeles Times (8/22, Healy) reports that research “concludes that a woman’s breast density should influence the frequency with which she is screened for breast cancer, in addition to such long-recognized breast cancer risk factors as age, ethnicity, personal history of abnormal breast findings and a family history of breast cancer.” The study “recommends that women older than 50 with dense breast tissue who have higher-than-normal risk of developing breast cancer should get annual mammograms.” The research, which was “underwritten by the National Cancer Institute...combined the data-collection efforts of breast-cancer epidemiologists with three separate teams of cancer modelers.”
Aunt Minnie (8/19) reports that research indicated “physicians who refer patients to mammography screening are affected by their own specialty’s guidelines on breast exams.” This is “a phenomenon that patients need to understand to make truly informed decisions about breast cancer screening, wrote” the researchers. The findings were published online in the American Journal of Roentgenology. The article points out that prior to “2009, the American College of Radiology (ACR), the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and the American College of Physicians (ACP) all recommended starting screening at age 40, with an interval of one to two years.”