Proposed changes to Medicare rates could mean fewer image-guided breast biopsies

09/7/2013 | (free registration)

If proposed changes to Medicare physician payment rates take effect, breast biopsies could become too costly for private practices to perform. That in turn could mean fewer image-guided percutaneous biopsies and more surgical biopsies, which are associated with greater patient morbidity, longer wait times for results, more scarring and longer recovery. Radiology professionals, the American Society of Breast Surgeons and the Society of Breast Imaging voiced opposition to the proposed changes. "Although we recognize that surgeons will always 'do the right thing' for their patients, the 'right thing' is for them to continue to stay in practice and take care of their patients," ASBS wrote. "No one can maintain a viable practice if expenses cannot be met."

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