Computer-Aided Mammograms Increase Medicare Cost-Burden: JAMA Study

The retrospective study analyzed SEER data from 2001 through 2009, and found that the annual CAD prevalence among Medicare screening mammograms increased from 3.5% to 79.7%.

When used during mammograms on women aged 65 and older, computer-aided detection (CAD) leads to more diagnostic intervention, including biopsy, and increases the detection of in situ breast tumors, a new study shows.

breast cancer

"Because in situ tumors often neither grow nor progress, CAD may be leading to a lot of unnecessary breast surgery and radiation in older women who don't really have ," Dr. Joshua J. Fenton, of the University of California Davis, told Reuters Health by email.

Medicare has reimbursed CAD during screening mammography since 2001. In a prior study, Dr. Fenton and colleagues found that CAD use increases the rate of false-positive findings on screening mammography and the detection of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).

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