The Medicare quality improvement organization for Florida is reporting that the mammography rates for the state have declined since 2001.
Florida Medical Quality Assurance says claims between July 2001 and June 2003 show only 63% of female Medicare beneficiaries between 50 and 67 years of age received a mammogram compared to 65% in 2001.
"There is no certain cause determined, although the problem is not only here in Florida; this is a nationwide issue," says Tom Coleman, M.D. physician coordinator at Medicare contractor.
Thirty-three other states have also seen a decline in mammograms for Medicare beneficiaries.
Coleman refers to news articles on a recent Institute of Medicine report that states the decline in mammography rates is thought to be because of low insurance reimbursement for mammograms, rising malpractice litigation and fewer radiologists choosing breast imaging instead of other specialties.