Millions of women across the country have access to free screening mammography, thanks to its inclusion as a required essential health benefit under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, if the results of that screening mammogram suggest the need for a follow-up diagnostic exam to determine if the woman has breast cancer, she may be faced with hundreds to thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs — all before she ever gets to treatment.
A recent Susan G. Komen-commissioned study found the out-of-pocket costs for patients to be high, with frequent variation for diagnostic breast imaging while also identifying the inconsistency in cost and coverage as a recognized issue among both patients and health care professionals.
If women are unable to afford the costs associated with diagnostic imaging, many might delay or forego additional tests to rule out or confirm a breast cancer diagnosis. This is unacceptable. It's time to take action!