IOM Workshop Focuses On How Quality Of Mammography Interpretation Can Be Improved

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Aunt Minnie (5/26, Yee) reports that at a May 12 workshop convened by the Institute of Medicine’s “National Cancer Policy Forum and sponsored by the American Cancer Society (ACS), participants reviewed current evidence on interpretation performance in mammography and considered potential opportunities for advancing research and practice,” focusing on how “the quality of mammography interpretation” can be improved. According to Aunt Minnie, “a number of leaders from the American College of Radiology” attended the workshop. 

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. 

Approximately Half Of Women With Dense Breasts May Have A Low Risk Of Developing Cancer

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
The New York Times (5/19, Grady, Subscription Publication) reports that research published in Annals of Internal Medicine “offers help to patients and” physicians “who are trying to deal with mammogram results that many women consider troubling and confusing: the finding of ‘dense’ breast tissue.”

Physicians Say Women Need Clarity On How Often They Should Have Mammograms

Friday, May 15, 2015
In a Charlotte (NC) Observer (5/15) “Viewpoint,” Dr. Matthew Gromet and Dr. Nicole Abinanti write that “women deserve clarity from the health-care community on the effectiveness of mammograms and the frequency they should have them.” A recent update to the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations continues to suggest that women ages 50-74 should get a mammogram every-other-year. The article adds that that recommendation conflicts with those of “the American Cancer Society, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Radiology and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, all of which recommend annual mammograms starting at age 40.”

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.”