Health Panel to Revamp PR After Mammo Debate

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The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is said to be changing the way it handles public relations after the flap over mammogram screenings it caused two years ago.

The leading health panel with broad ramifications on health care behavior has reportedly consulted with Consumer Reports and public relations professionals to rework the way it issues recommendations, according to a recent Reuters story.

In the panel’s recommendation on mammograms, it’s letter grade of a C meant that patients should speak to their doctor about whether to get screened at age 40. But in the written guideline, the first sentence said the panel was “recommended against” routine mammograms for women under age 50.

The American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology both disagreed with the findings, which led to a public backlash that saw the policy as a means of rationing. In one occasion, it led to a death threat to Dr. Ned Colagne, task force president, according to the Reuters story.