Healthcare for Women: ONRAD Apprehensive about Medicare Reimbursement Cuts for Stereotactic Biopsy Procedure

At Onrad, we provide quality patient care to women via our on-site and teleradiology diagnostic imaging services.  The provision of quality health care for all women and girls in the U.S. continues to be an on-going initiative throughout the country.  Medicare’s anticipated plans to implement reimbursement cuts for stereotactic biopsy procedures may unintentionally fuel a growing trend to offer healthcare services based solely upon the reimbursement.  If approved, the reimbursement cuts will go live in 2015.

We’ve asked Dr. Farid Shafaie, an ONRAD Regional Medical Director, to provide his technical perspective on the reimbursement cuts.  Dr. Shafaie, is an ABR certified Diagnostic Radiologist  with a subspecialty in Neuroradiology with an emphasis MSK and Spine MRI.  He serves as Chairman of the Radiology Department at Presence St. Mary’s Hospital and is active on multiple medical staff committees.  His radiology leadership at St. Mary’s also directs Onrad’s teleradiology support as well as an expanding interventional radiology program. 

Per Dr. Shafaie, “This is another consequence of health care initiative and Medicare reimbursement cuts.  However, I believe there will be no significant change in the volume of breast procedures performed by radiologists, just the reimbursement rate decrease. Radiologists still need to localize some breast lesions or microcalcifications for surgeons before they can remove them. Patients may also request less invasive stereotactic biopsy than breast surgery.

Furthermore, insurance companies will eventually realize that breast surgery can be more expensive than stereotactic biopsy once you take into account the cost of surgeon, anesthesiologist, operating room, etc. I believe that once some studies have been published that compare the cost difference, insurance companies will decide to still reimburse the radiologists performed breast procedures. It is up to the academic centers to take the initiative and perform such research projects to prove this point.”

ONRAD will continue to monitor Medicare initiatives to stay abreast of decisions that may impede upon our ability to continue to provide quality patient care.

To learn more about the breast biopsy reimbursement cuts, click here to read “Will breast biopsy reimbursement cuts lead to more surgical procedures?” by Mike Basset as published on

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.