The Mammography Debate Resurfaces–This Time it's Medicare Spending

Despite increased spending, the breast cancer detection rate and stage did not change, according to a new JNCI study.
Published Online: July 02, 2014

Medicare's mammography costs increased by almost 50% over a 7-year period while the breast cancer detection rate and stage at diagnosis did not change, a 270,000-patient study showed.

Annual Medicare spending rose from $666 million during 2001 to 2002, to $962 million in 2008 to 2009, according to Cary P. Gross, MD, of Yale University, and colleagues. The number of women screened and detection rates for early-stage disease were similar during the two time periods.

The rise in cost coincided with widespread transition from plain-film to more expensive digital mammography, they reported online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

"I view this as important preliminary data suggesting there has been no improvement whatsoever [in detection rates]," Gross told MedPage Today. "As far as why there was no improvement, it's either because the new technology was not more effective or maybe we just need longer follow-up time, and only time will tell."

Read the original report here:

Source: medpageToday

Recommended Articles
Although the CDC expects death rates for most cancers to decrease by 2020, melanoma is the exception and new cases are expected to cost $1.6 billion in 2030.
The widespread use of screening mammography increases the probability of detecting smaller cancers without a decline in the detection of large cancers.
Christine K. Cassel, MD, president and CEO of the National Quality Forum, sent her best wishes to The American Journal of Managed Care for its 20th year anniversary in publication.
Bruce Feinberg, DO, vice president and chief medical office at Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions, explains why he attends the sessions at Patient-Centered Oncology Care.
California’s recent initiatives to address the impact of high priced hepatitis C drugs could not have come at a better time, as a new analysis estimates that the state’s projected specialty drug expenditure would be $4.77 billion in the next year alone.