August 23 was a monumental day for women and women’s breast health, reported Solis Mammography. Cigna announced that they would begin providing insurance coverage for 3D mammograms, effective immediately, becoming the first national private insurer to cover 3D mammograms. Medicare announced coverage in January 2015, and for the past 20 months, certain private insurers have added coverage, but only in select regional markets.
Cigna based the change on recently published clinical research from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), which highlighted the benefits of 3D Mammograms. The insurer will provide coverage of 3D mammograms for annual breast cancer screening for all women over age 40 and for high-risk women starting at age 25.
As mandated by the Affordable Care Act, nearly all insurance carriers already covered the cost of standard 2D screening mammogram at 100 percent with no out-of-pocket costs. This new announcement means that women covered by Cigna will be able to benefit from the improved technology and accuracy associated with 3D mammography. Solis Mammography – the nation’s largest independent provider of screening and diagnostics for breast health, serving more than 600,000 patients a year – hopes this signals the start of more private insurers following suit in the very near future.
Key facts about 3D mammography:
- Research shows that 3D mammography results in a 54 percent increase in early detection.
- That same research also shows 3D mammography decreases recalls by 37 percent.
- All women benefit from 3D mammography, but it is particularly helpful if a woman has dense breast tissue, family history of breast cancer, fibrocystic changes and/or a history of frequent callbacks from mammograms.
- Solis Mammography’s chief medical officer, Dr. Stephen Rose, presented to the FDA the very first patient in the country diagnosed using 3D mammography in 2011. The FDA approved 3D mammography the same year.
- In 2014, Rose co-authored Scientific Paper of the Year: Breast Cancer Screening Using Tomosynthesis in Combination with Digital Mammography, Journal of the American Medical Association, June 25, 2014. The paper's findings state that 3D mammography increased early detection while reducing recalls.
· A physician’s order is not required for either 2D or 3D screening mammograms.
· There is no time or discomfort difference between 3D versus 2D mammogram screening.
“This is a major milestone for women’s breast health. For years, radiologists and referring physicians have attested to the importance of early detection in saving lives and in offering women the best treatment options. 3D mammography represents the best technology available, offering more and clearer images of breast tissue,” said James Polfreman, president and CEO, Solis Mammography. “This announcement by Cigna represents a milestone event, as many women wanted the benefits of 3D but couldn’t afford it without coverage by their providers. We are excited about our ability to deliver the best possible mammogram, read by subspecialized breast radiologists, to more women covered by Cigna in every market we serve. For those unsure about their coverage, we highly recommend those women contact their provider to urge for 3D mammography within their plan.”
About Solis Mammography
Celebrating 30 years in breast imaging, Solis Mammography is a specialized healthcare provider focused on delivering women an exceptional mammography experience. Headquartered in Addison, Texas, Solis currently operates 41 centers across six major markets – North Texas; Houston, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; Columbus, Ohio; Greensboro, North Carolina, and through its recent acquisition of Washington Radiology Associates (WRA), the D.C. metropolitan area. The company operates both wholly-owned centers and multiple successful joint ventures with hospital partners. Solis Mammography (including WRA), serves more than 600,000 patients each year with highly-specialized imaging services including screening and diagnostic mammography (2D and 3D), computer-aided detection, breast ultrasound, stereotactic biopsy and ultrasound-guided biopsy. For more information, visit www.SolisMammo.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Pinterest and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
For more information, contact Jo Trizila, TrizCom PR, 972-247-1369 or [email protected]
,2 American Journal of Roentgenology, 2013
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