Amid bitter battles over the state budget, radiologists in the Nutmeg State continue to struggle for the wherewithal to serve Medicaid patients—not least low-income women in need of diagnostic and screening mammography.
Last year the state cut reimbursement for various radiology services, including mammography, to a rate well below the 2007 Medicare fee schedule.
On April 3 the Hartford Courant reported that some radiologists have been muddling through and are now pinning their hopes on like-minded legislators to turn things around.
Others have been unable to absorb the losses and so have stopped accepting Medicaid patients.
“Since the state’s reimbursement cut, radiologists have received $20 for reading a screening mammogram and $25 for a diagnostic mammogram for high-risk patients, a fee that includes other services such as consulting with the referring physician and supervising the technologist,” the paper explains. “In contrast, some private insurers can pay roughly $50 to $57 for a screening mammogram and $65 to $70 for a diagnostic mammogram.”
The article quotes radiologist Michael Crain, MD, who heads a private practice while also serving as radiology director at Middlesex Hospital.
“If the final decision comes down to the fact that this is it, I will most probably stop accepting Medicaid patients,” Crain says. “I have no choice.”
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