MITA Commends Lawmakers for Efforts to Establish Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) Screening Coverage for TRICARE Beneficiaries

11.25.19

Washington, DC – The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) today applauded a bipartisan and bicameral group of lawmakers for introducing the Better and Robust Screening Today Act (H.R. 5238/ S. 2944). Led by Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ), Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), this legislation would establish TRICARE coverage for Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) screening mammography.  This is an innovative diagnostic technology that has proven to be more effective than traditional mammography, especially for women with dense breast tissue or who are at high risk for breast cancer.

“MITA applauds the introduction of the Better and Robust Screening Today Act, which will ensure our nation’s servicewomen have the coverage necessary to receive the right breast cancer diagnostic technology for them,” said Patrick Hope, Executive Director of MITA. “We will continue to support these ongoing efforts and commend lawmakers for fighting to ensure that former and current members of the U.S. military whose mammograms show they have dense breast tissue have access to the same advanced screening options as those with private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, about half of women undergoing mammograms have dense breasts.

Earlier this year, Congress passed a law mandating mammography providers to notify patients with dense breast tissue so they can be recommended for further screening. Currently, TRICARE covers DBT for diagnostic follow-up screening, but not for the initial scan. TRICARE is the only national payer not covering screening DBT. Having access to state-of-the-art imaging for screening ensures that abnormalities are detected earlier, particularly for women with dense breasts where they may be missed with traditional mammography, and secondary tests aren’t recommended.

###