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Industry official faults radiologists in mammogram debate

Hartford Courant, December 21, 2009

An company that advises dozens of health insurers nationwide says the real problem with mammograms is radiologists who aren't reading them correctly. In response to a controversy last month, when a federal task force recommended against annual breast cancer screenings for women in their 40s, National Imaging Associates reviewed more than 400,000 mammograms. The issue, according to the task force, is that there are too many "false positives"—findings that women might have cancer, when, in fact, they do not. After an exhaustive review over the past few weeks, a high-ranking official at National Imaging—a unit of Magellan Health Services Inc., of Avon, CT—reached a different conclusion: Poorly performing radiologists are the root of the problem.