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Policy

 

Specialists agree that having either a family history of breast cancer or dense breast tissue puts patients at a greater risk of developing breast cancer. Where disagreement persists, however, is what exactly to do with that information. Some experts believe that providers should implement risk-based mammographic screening for breast cancer, but according to a new study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology, such a system could delay the detection and treatment of a large number of cancers.

Medical Imaging Still Seeing Its Fair Share of Breakthroughs 

Thirty-two states enacted breast density reporting legislation in the last eight years, but no such bills have been passed on a federal level. Could that soon change?

Temperatures are dropping and my front yard is covered in leaves, which means it’s almost time for another eventful RSNA annual meeting in Chicago. I’ve spent some with this year’s schedule and wanted to share five can’t-miss sessions.

Women should not stop undergoing regular mammography based on their age alone, according to a new analysis published by the American Journal of Roentgenology. The authors of the article explored both the benefits and the risks of screening mammography for women ages 75 years and older.

 

Recent Headlines

Legislation could modernize FDA regulations on imaging devices, contrast

Imaging advocacy groups have lined up to support a bill providing medical imaging device and contrast drug manufacturers a clear regulatory pathway, speeding the bench-to-bedside transition.

EU reconsiders pulling gadolinium contrast agents from market

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will re-examine its decision to pull several gadolinium contrast agents from the European single market following requests from gadolinium producers.

Imaging growth leveling off due to reimbursement cuts, changes in ordering

The dramatic growth in imaging utilization experienced at the beginning of the millennium has mostly leveled off, according to a study published in Health Affairs, primarily due to major cuts to reimbursement and more careful ordering of noninvasive exams.

No need to panic over talk of cutting essential health benefits, including low-cost preventative screening

While the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s essential health benefits are now on the chopping block to entice the more conservative members of the House into supporting the American Health Care Act, losing the requirement that insurers cover preventative cancer screening isn’t a foregone conclusion.

MedPAC recommendations get it wrong on imaging, says MITA

The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) said the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s (MedPAC) March 2017 report to Congress misrepresents the growth in imaging utilization, a criticism consistently levied by imaging advocates against MedPAC over the past decade.

EU pulls gadolinium contrast agents over deposition concerns

The medical regulatory body of the European Union (EU) recommended four gadolinium contrast agents be pulled from the market because of concerns about gadolinium deposition in the brain. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) suspended the marketing authorizations for the four agents after a review by its risk assessment committee.

What the ACA replacement means for radiology

The ACA replacement bill appears to leave intact pieces of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) beneficial to radiologists, namely the expansion of preventative cancer screening. While it’s an encouraging sign, the tri-part repeal-and-replace process means radiologists should keep their ears to the ground, according to Chris Sherin, Director of Congressional Affairs at the American College of Radiology (ACR).

Colon cancer coalition urges lawmakers to cover virtual colonoscopy

A coalition of colorectal cancer societies and advocacy groups urged Congress to pass legislation covering CT colonography under Medicare, the latest development in a decades-long effort to increase colorectal cancer screening rates. The CT Colonography Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act (House Resolution 1298) was introduced in early March by Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, and Danny Davis, D-Illinois.

Five states pushing for mandated DBT coverage

At least five states have introduced legislation requiring insurers to cover Digital Breast Tomosynthesis, also known as 3D mammography. The economic and clinical benefits of DBT are well-established, but the passage of the bills may come down the legislative climate of the individual states, according to Eugenia Brandt, Director of State Affairs for the American College of Radiology.

Op-ed: ACGME policy puts undue pressure on small radiology residency programs

An op-ed in the Journal of the American College of Radiology argues pressure to comply with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s standardization of policy for all programs creates problems for certain small radiology programs.

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