With growing patient and referral source interest in breast cancer screening options beyond traditional mammography, the women’s imaging field is heating up says research firm KLAS.
“There is a lot of energy around women’s imaging and how different technologies are coming together to improve the delivery of care,” said Monique Rasband, research director at KLAS and report author in the press release. “But another side of the story will shed light on what effect the lack of reimbursement and laws such as the notification bill are having on women’s imaging.”
Indeed, making the case for adopting new technologies ahead of coverage decisions by major payors is tricky and potentially risky. Along with KLAS’s Women’s Imaging 2013: Measuring the Options report, the research firm also issued a report specifically on tomosynthesis — the technology that perhaps best illustrates the opportunities, challenges and medical ethics issues surrounding the decision to offer a new screening option at a point where researchers and payors are still evaluating the technology’s benefit.
KLAS interviewed 44 providers who were offering breast imaging using tomosynthesis for its report Breast Tomosynthesis 2013: The Business Case. All but one of the providers said they would buy tomosynthesis again despite the additional time it takes and the unpredictable reimbursement. The largest return on their investment came from how offering the technology was leading to new patients and referrals.
Hologic is currently the only FDA-approved vendor for tomosynthesis, but many other vendors are working on competing tomosynthesis devices.