HealthImaging (7/30, O'Connor) reports on a study published in Medical Care finding that “dense breast notification policies were associated with an increase in follow-up ultrasound.” The study included “13,481,554 mammogram screening procedures taken from the MarketScan Research database performed between 2007 and 2014.” All the women included “were privately insured and lived in a state that enacted notification legislation during the study period.” The researchers found “a 1.02 percent jump in breast ultrasound imaging 30 days after mammography screening” after legislation was enacted.
The Radiology Business Journal (7/30, Walter) reports on a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology indicating that “some women who undergo mammography fail to keep up to date with other recommended preventive health services,” based on “survey data from more than 122,000 women with no histories of breast cancer who had a mammogram within the past two years.”
The Radiology Business Journal (7/30, Slachta) reports on a study published in Academic Radiology finding that women who choose digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) rather than “mammography alone are likely to see lower recall rates, improved quality measures and shorter times to biopsy.” The authors concluded that DBT “produces quasi-3D data that improve lesion visibility.”
The Kansas City (MO) Star (7/27, Marso) reports that beginning next month, “all health insurers in Missouri will be required to cover 3D mammograms, as well as the traditional flat images.” In the medical community, “there’s some disagreement about whether researchers know enough to say definitively that the 3D mammograms are better,” the article says, pointing out that while “prestigious hospitals such as the MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Mayo Clinic tout its benefits,” the National Cancer Institute says more research is needed. The Star reports, “NCI is funding a large-scale clinical trial to get a more definitive answer. It began last year and is expected to take five years.” The article says that America’s Health Insurance Plans did not oppose the measure, and the story notes that seven other states had such a coverage requirement in 2017, according to the American College of Radiology.
Aunt Minnie (7/24, Yee) reports that according to a study published online July 20 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, “factors associated with radiologists – such as their annual reading volume and experience – can affect breast cancer screening recall rates just as much as patient characteristics such as age or breast tissue density.” The findings “suggest that particular interventions that target radiologists – such as boosting annual reading volume requirements or performing second reviews of potential recalls – could help reduce unwanted variation in recall rates.”