SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • breast cancer;
  • cost analysis;
  • diagnosis;
  • Medicare

Abstract:  We estimated resource use and costs associated with a diagnostic workup for suspected breast cancer among Medicare beneficiaries. Using Medicare claims data, we found that the average cost of a diagnostic workup for suspected breast cancer—whether it eventuated in a breast cancer diagnosis or not—was $361, and did not vary by presentation (signs/symptoms or screening mammography). In the aggregate, we estimate that Medicare spends approximately $679 million annually on diagnostic workups for women with suspected breast cancer, and that false positive mammograms result in diagnostic costs of approximately $250 million.