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Mammograms: why can’t we get a straight story

Thursday, November 19th, 2009   8:10 am | Author: Isabelle | Health/Medical, Services/Products |
Tags: , ,

I can’t understand why we are being jerked around about the usefulness of mammograms.

 

Every year or so you get a completely conflicting report about some issue that you have come to believe in. Mercury in tuna, the detrimental affects of eating chocolate or drinking coffee, etc.

 

This week the United States Preventive Services Task Force, described as the ”leading independent panel of private-sector experts in prevention and primary care”, released a statement that women should not begin routine mammograms until age 50, contradicting the long established advice that women 40 and older should be screened.

 

Two members of this task force are affiliated with non-profit insurance organizations.

 

Maybe it is me but I have to question why this statement was released now on the verge of health care reform.

 

Several reports have circulated that insurance companies look to statements from this task force when determining what coverage will be offered. This would lead one to conclude that insurance companies may not cover mammograms for those under 50.

 

This should scare the hell out of all women.

 

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius responded that statements for the task force ”do not set federal policy and they don’t determine what services are covered by the federal government,” 

 

“The task force has presented some new evidence for consideration, but our policies remain unchanged,” she said. “Indeed, I would be very surprised if any private insurance company changed its mammograph  coverage decisions as a result of this action.”

 

 

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