On The Pulse: Trends & Surveys in the Healthcare Industry

Mammography Debates Do Not Influence Screening Decision For Women and Doctors Despite the recent hullabaloo over when mammography screenings should be done, consumers and clinicians are still not swayed, according to a recent Medscape study on 500 medical professionals and consumers. In fact, the prevailing fear is financial, according to the online database of medical and healthcare information: 80 percent of clinicians and 86 percent of consumers worried that third-party payers and HMOs would use the panel's conflicting recommendations to refuse reimbursement for mammography screenings for women in their 40s. Regardless of the recent panel findings, when consumers considered the low incidence of breast cancer in women under 40 against the dangers of radiation exposure, the risks of false-positive mammograms in young women with dense breast tissue, and the possibility of false-negatives, 73 percent said the benefits for breast cancer screening starting at 40 outweighed the potential risks. Similarly, when clinicians were asked whether the panel findings would influence their recommendations, 72 percent said no. (Medscape, Wendy Schwimmer, 212/546-1617) Are Girls Growing Up Too Fast?

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