Oregon insurer cuts CAD reimbursement

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Oregon health insurer ODS Companies of Portland will curtail reimbursements for computer-aided detection (CAD) used in diagnostic medical imaging procedures, apparently the result of a study published earlier this year in The New England Journal of Medicine.

ODS is a provider of dental, medical, and professional liability insurance that serves more than 600,000 Oregonians.

The study found that CAD did not clearly improve the detection of breast cancer and led the American College of Radiology (ACR) to state that the decreased accuracy of mammography when using CAD was due to increased false positives, not to fewer cancers being detected. The study was designed in such a way that it was impossible to determine how many cancers would have been missed without the use of CAD, according to ACR.

The ACR said that CAD should be used as an adjunct to thorough mammographic evaluation rather than a replacement. The organization said that abandoning this potentially valuable tool (CAD) is unwarranted but that vendors should strive to continue to improve the performance of CAD systems.