Connecticut lawmakers, radiologists say Medicaid reimbursement cuts hurt low-income, minority women

April 02, 2016

Radiologists and lawmakers are hoping to find enough money in Connecticut's budget to reverse last year's cut in the Medicaid reimbursement rate for radiology services, which they claim has decreased poor and often-minority women's access to mammography service while possibly increasing their risk for undetected breast cancer. The radiology reimbursement change was originally estimated to save at least $4.5 million. 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. In contrast, some private insurers can pay roughly $50 to $57 for a screening mammogram and $65 to $70 for a diagnostic mammogram. The Department of Social Services said it reviewed allegations by radiologists that minority women living in Bridgeport had difficulty obtaining mammography screening services. DSS said it looked at specific claims data for such screenings by race and ethnicity around Bridgeport "and found no evidence of any impact on access to these services."