Analysis: Mammography Screening Rate Of US Senior Women Dropped After USPSTF Changed Guidance In 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Aunt Minnie (5/19, Casey) reports that an analysis published in the May-June issue of the journal Women’s Health Issues “has found that mammography screening rates of women 65 years and older dropped immediately in 2009 after the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) changed its guidance on breast screening.” Specifically, “monthly breast screening rates for women ages 65 to 90 fell 6% in the year after USPSTF adopted more restrictive guidelines on screening, and three years later they had fallen by a total of 8%,” the analysis found. 

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

Thursday, May 14, 2015
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.”

Lawmakers Urge HHS To Oppose USPSTF’s Mammogram Guidance

Thursday, May 7, 2015
The Hill (5/7, Ferris) reports that “several lawmakers who have survived breast cancer are urging the Obama administration to oppose new recommendations that say women under age 50 shouldn’t be screened annually for the disease.” According to the Hill, “Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) – who have both battled breast cancer – joined 60 other members of Congress to condemn recent guidance from” the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), “which advises against regular mammograms for younger women.” In a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, lawmakers wrote, “Years of science and medicine have shown that appropriate screening can lead to early detection and save lives.” 

Rep. Wasserman Schultz Critical Of USPSTF’s Mammography Draft Recommendations

Friday, April 24, 2015
In the Washington Post (4/24) “To Your Health” blog, US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) writes that the US Preventive Services Task Force’s mammography draft recommendations “could lead to insurance companies dropping coverage of mammograms for women under age 50, as well as other preventive techniques that would help protect young women from getting breast cancer and help those who do have it.” Rep. Wasserman Schultz writes, “I urge the USPSTF to reverse its recommendation and avoid the needless deaths that will inevitably result when women between 40 and 50 don’t get mammograms, believing that the experts said it would be unnecessary.” 

FDA Approves Siemens’ Tomosynthesis Add-On For Certain Digital Mammography Systems

Friday, April 24, 2015
HealthImaging (4/24) reports, “The FDA has approved the breast tomosynthesis add-on option for Siemens Healthcare’s MAMMOMAT Inspiration and MAMMOMAT Inspiration Prime Edition digital mammography systems.” Diagnostic Imaging (4/24) also covers the story.