Does Medicare Cover 3d Mammograms 2019?
What Is 3D Mammography?
So, you've heard of 3D mammography, but you're not sure what it is or whether it's right for you. Here's a crash course on the technology and what you can expect if you opt for a 3D mammogram.
First, a 3D mammogram is a specialized type of breast imaging test that can find breast abnormalities earlier than conventional screening techniques. It's often referred to as 3D mammography, 3D screening, or 3D imaging.
The process is the same as a traditional mammogram. The only difference is that a 3D mammogram offers a three-dimensional picture of your breast tissue.
What Are the Benefits of 3D Mammography?
3D mammography can be especially useful for women with dense breast tissue.
This condition can make it more difficult for radiologists to detect cancer in breast tissue. That's why women with dense tissue are more likely to have an abnormal mammogram call.
In addition to detecting breast cancer more accurately, 3D mammography is also better at diagnosing precancerous lesions.
How Is 3D Mammography Different?
A 3D mammogram is performed in exactly the same way as a traditional mammogram. The only difference is that a 3D mammogram uses a special machine that produces a three-dimensional image and a radiologist who is specially trained to interpret it.
3D mammography is also different in that it takes more time than a traditional mammogram. In fact, on average, it takes one to two minutes longer.
The extra time is because the 3D mammogram requires two separate images of each breast. The first is a traditional two-dimensional image.
The second image uses a special technique called tomosynthesis. According to the National Cancer Institute, tomosynthesis creates 3-D images by using multiple X-ray images of the breast. This is repeated as the breast is rotated to produce a more complete image, with each projection covering a slightly different angle.
Once the images are complete, the radiologist uses special software to combine the two images into a 3-D image.
Since this process takes an extra minute or two, you may find that you can watch TV while you wait for your technician to present you with your final report.
Does Medicare Cover 3D Mammograms?
Medicare covers screening mammograms of any kind. If you haven't had a mammogram in the past 18 months, you're eligible for a free mammogram at a nearby facility.
Medicare does not cover the cost of 3D mammography.
However, if you have a higher income, you may be able to pay for the test on your own.
That's because Medicare does cover diagnostic mammograms that are ordered by a specialist. These mammograms can be done using traditional or 3D technology.
There are special circumstances under which Medicare will cover the cost of a 3D mammogram. These include:
The results of your last mammogram showed a suspicious area
You've had breast implants
You have dense breast tissue or other abnormalities
You have a family history of breast cancer
Your doctor has ordered a diagnostic mammogram
If you don't fall into any of these categories, you may end up paying for the test yourself if you have health insurance.
However, if you're uninsured or in a Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare will cover the tests in this case.
Do I Need to Ask My Doctor for a 3D Mammogram?
You don't need to ask your doctor for a 3D mammogram. But you will need to make sure that your doctor orders a 3D mammogram if it's been less than 18 months since you've had a breast exam.
If you're uninsured, you may need to ask your doctor for a 3D mammogram. That's because if you have insurance, you may not need this test. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether you can have a traditional mammogram instead.
How Much Do 3D Mammograms Cost?
3D mammograms are more expensive than traditional mammograms. They can cost anywhere from $50 to $250. Medicare does not cover the cost of 3D mammography tests, so you'll need to pay out of pocket if you want to get one.
If you have insurance, you'll need to check with your company to see whether they cover 3D mammography and how much they'll pay.
What If I Hate the Results of My 3D Mammogram?
If you get a negative result from your 3D mammogram, you may feel as if you don't need to worry about breast cancer.
However, a negative result does not guarantee that you are not at risk for breast cancer.
In fact, a negative result can encourage you to become complacent about your health. That's why it's important to continue with your regular breast exams.
If you do get a positive result, you'll need to discuss the situation with your doctor.
Does Medicare Cover 3D Mammography?
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