Trends in time to completion of mammographic screening and follow-up services
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: The popular press has raised questions about mammographic capacity in the United States, but mammographic utilization data have not been used to inform these concerns. We used data for the period 1995-2002 from the New Mexico Mammography Project to assess trends in time to completion of mammographic screening and follow-up services. CONCLUSION: The median time to return mammographic screening changed little over time, but trends in the time required to complete recommended follow-up services varied by type of service and urban or rural residence. Further monitoring of time required to complete screening and follow-up services in other regions can inform debates on mammographic capacity.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:: Whether timeliness of follow-up after abnormal mammography differs at facilities serving vulnerable populations, such as women with limited education or income, in rural areas, and racial/ethnic minorities is unknown. METHODS:: We examined receipt of diagnostic evaluation after abnormal mammography using 1998-2006 Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium-linked Medicare claims. We compared whether time to recommended breast imaging or biopsy depended on whether women attended facilities serving vulnerable populations. We characterized a facility by the proportion of mammograms performed on women with limited education or income, in rural areas, or racial/ethnic minorities. RESULTS:: We analyzed 30,874 abnormal screening examinations recommended for follow-up imaging across 142 facilities and 10,049 abnormal diagnostic examinations recommended for biopsy across 114 facilities. Women at facilities serving populations with less education or more racial/ethnic minorities had lower rates of follow-up imaging (4%-5% difference, P<0.05), and women at facilities serving more rural and low-income populations had lower rates of biopsy (4%-5% difference, P<0.05). Women undergoing biopsy at facilities serving vulnerable populations had longer times until biopsy than those at facilities serving nonvulnerable populations (21.6 vs. 15.6 d; 95% confidence interval for mean difference 4.1-7.7). The proportion of women receiving recommended imaging within 11 months and biopsy within 3 months varied across facilities (interquartile range, 85.5%-96.5% for imaging and 79.4%-87.3% for biopsy). CONCLUSIONS:: Among Medicare recipients, follow-up rates were slightly lower at facilities serving vulnerable populations, and among those women who returned for diagnostic evaluation, time to follow-up was slightly longer at facilities that served vulnerable population. Interventions should target variability in follow-up rates across facilities, and evaluate effectiveness particularly at facilities serving vulnerable populations.Medical care 01/2013; DOI:10.1097/MLR.0b013e318280f04c · 2.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To describe the timeliness of follow-up care in community-based settings among women who receive a recommendation for immediate follow-up during the screening mammography process and how follow-up timeliness varies according to facility and facility-level characteristics. This was an institutional review board-approved and HIPAA-compliant study. Screening mammograms obtained from 1996 to 2007 in women 40-80 years old in the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium were examined. Inclusion criteria were a recommendation for immediate follow-up at screening, or subsequent imaging, and observed follow-up within 180 days of the recommendation. Recommendations for additional imaging (AI) and biopsy or surgical consultation (BSC) were analyzed separately. The distribution of time to follow-up care was estimated by using the Kaplan-Meier estimator. Data were available on 214,897 AI recommendations from 118 facilities and 35,622 BSC recommendations from 101 facilities. The median time to subsequent follow-up care after recommendation was 14 days for AI and 16 days for BSC. Approximately 90% of AI follow-up and 81% of BSC follow-up occurred within 30 days. Facilities with higher recall rates tended to have longer AI follow-up times (P < .001). Over the study period, BSC follow-up rates at 15 and 30 days improved (P < .001). Follow-up times varied substantially across facilities. Timely follow-up was associated with larger volumes of the recommended procedures but not notably associated with facility type nor observed facility-level characteristics. Most patients with follow-up returned within 3 weeks of the recommendation.Radiology 09/2011; 261(2):404-13. DOI:10.1148/radiol.11102472 · 6.21 Impact Factor