In Connecticut, breast rads feel the pinch of slashed state reimbursement

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon
Google icon

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.”

Read the whole thing: