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Insurers unlikely to alter policies in the debate over mammograms

New York Times, November 19, 2009

The business of providing mammograms has been in steady decline in recent years as many clinics have opted out of the screening business because of low insurance reimbursements. For many of the hospitals and free-standing radiology clinics that perform mammograms, the service has become a loss leader, a way to attract patients who might then receive other services. Health insurers, including the federal Medicare program, have said they were unlikely to change coverage of mammograms in the immediate wake of new guidelines issued by the United States Preventive Services Task Force, the New York Times reports. The new guidelines recommend that women in their 40s no longer have annual mammograms and that women ages 50 to 74 have them only every other year instead of annually.