Mammogram Follow-Up Leads To More Tests, Costs
In related news, as more patients ask for genetic testing to determine their hereditary risk of breast and ovarian cancer -- sometimes called the "Angelina Effect" -- some insurers are declining to pay.
The Hidden Cost Of Mammograms: More Testing And Overtreatment
There's no question mammograms can save lives by detecting breast cancer early. But they can also result in unnecessary testing and treatment that can be alarming and costly. In fact, each year the U.S. spends $4 billion on follow-up tests and treatments that result from inaccurate mammograms, scientists report in the current issue of Health Affairs. (Neighmond, 4/13)
Aetna, Cigna Balk As Angelina Effect Spurs Genetic Cancer Testing
Medical researchers call it the "Angelina Effect," the surge in demand for genetic testing attributable to movie star Angelina Jolie's public crusade for more aggressive detection of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. But there's a catch: Major insurance companies including Aetna, Anthem and Cigna are declining to pay for the latest generation of tests, known as multi-gene panel tests, Reuters has learned. The insurers say that the tests are unproven and may lead patients to seek out medical care they don't need. (Humer, 4/12)