Aunt Minnie (3/17, Yee) reports that research suggests “adding DBT to digital mammography helps breast imagers categorize lesions more accurately.” The findings were presented at ECR 2017.
The Academy for Radiology and Biomedical Imaging Research issued a statement in response to the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget blueprint released today.
According to Aunt Minnie (3/15, Yee), “the latest report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) warns that imaging could still be overused and concludes that Medicare should prioritize reimbursement for primary care over specialties like radiology.” AuntMinnie adds, “Even though growth in imaging utilization has flattened over the past eight years, the latest MedPAC report, ‘Report to the Congress: Medicare Payment Policy,’ points to the rapid growth in imaging utilization between 2000 and 2009 as a cautionary tale of what could happen if imaging use is left unchecked.” MedPAC “expressed concern that use of imaging services is much higher than it was in 2000, noting that overall cumulative growth in imaging volume from 2000 to 2009 totaled 85%, compared with a cumulative decrease in imaging volume since 2009 of about 8%.”
HealthDay (3/14, Doheny) reports that research suggests “more than half of older American women with early breast cancer may get more radiation therapy than needed, which significantly boosts medical costs.” Researchers analyzed 2011 data on approximately 43,000 patients with breast cancer. The investigators “estimated $164 million could have been saved by ordering a shorter radiation course.” The findings were published in the Journal of Oncology Practice. HealthDay adds that “if the study were repeated today, or even last year, the results would likely be different, said Dr. Seth Rosenthal,” chair of the ACR Radiation Oncology Commission. Dr. Rosenthal, who was not involved in the research, said, “I think things have changed [since 2011] and more patients are being offered the shorter course of radiation for treatment of early breast cancer.”
MedPage Today (3/12, Bankhead) reports the change “from film-based to digital mammography led to a higher breast cancer detection rate but also to more biopsies,” according to an analysis of “401,548 diagnostic imaging exams.” The data show that breast cancer detection rates jumped from 25.3 per 1,000 to 34.7 per 1,000 examinations, but abnormal exams that require biopsies “increased by more than 50%.” The findings were published online in Radiology.