A new study of current or eligible Medicare recipients conducted on behalf of the Radiology Patient Action Network shows that nearly half of women indicate that they have not received a mammogram in the last three years. Conducting and released during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the study also found that 80 percent of Americans are concerned with proposed cuts to Medicare, and 90 percent of Americans view maintaining Medicare coverage as important.
"As policymakers continue to propose cuts to Medicare, it is clear any new cuts would worsen health inequities and damage the health of the American people," said Bob Still, Executive Director of the RBMA. "At a time when patients are already having difficulty receiving the care they need — like mammography screenings proven to detect and prevent breast cancer — members of Congress should take note of these findings and protect Medicare."
Dr. Kellie Schenk, a board-certified diagnostic radiologist with EPIC Imaging, PC, in Oregon and Imaging for a Cause participant, underscored the severity of the survey's mammography findings. "Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women and, if not caught and treated early, can be disfiguring and deadly. We recommend average-risk women receive mammography screenings every year beginning at age 40 and high-risk women talk to their doctor about screenings prior to 40 to increase the chances of early detection, which not only saves lives but makes treatment much easier and less disruptive for patients and their families. It is alarming that nearly half of Medicare-aged women haven't received their annual mammogram given the benefits of screening in this age group, and we encourage them to get one scheduled as soon as possible. It is clear that further cuts to Medicare providers and vital screening services would only exacerbate this issue by limiting appointments and compromising quality of care."
In addition to survey respondents' concern for Medicare cuts and lack of mammography screenings, 1 in 4 current patients reported having difficulty scheduling doctors' appointments due to delays or rescheduling. Almost half of all respondents said they would be less likely to support a member of Congress if they advocate for cuts.
The survey was conducted Sept. 25 through Sept. 27, 2022. The national survey sample consists of 1,632 Americans either enrolled in Medicare or Medicare-eligible. Margin of Error is +/-2.5% with a 95% level of confidence. The study was jointly sponsored by the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance (MITA), Imaging for a Cause, and the Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) and conducted by the Remington Research Group.
About Imaging for a Cause
Imaging for a Cause Foundation (ICF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation that coordinates communication between imaging centers and Federally Qualified Community Health Centers. It has a decade-long history of fostering charitable care for thousands of patients, from Virginia to Minnesota to Washington State.
The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), a division of NEMA, is the collective voice of medical imaging equipment manufacturers, innovators, and product developers. It represents companies whose sales comprise more than 90 percent of the global market for advanced medical imaging technology. For more information, visit www.medicalimaging.org.
The Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) is an industry-leading organization comprised of more than 2,100 professionals who focus on the business of radiology. RBMA members support diagnostic imaging, interventional radiology and radiation oncology providers in the full spectrum of practice settings. RBMA connects members nationwide to valuable information, education, and practice-related resources and serves as an authoritative industry voice on behalf of shared member interests.
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Original Source: RBMA's Radiology Patient Action Network Study Shows Nearly Half of Women Not Receiving Recommended Mammograms