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October 4, 2019

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer screening and mammography

Breast cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer in women. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about one in eight women born today in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point. There is a higher probability of breast cancer survival when detected and treated early. The month of October is an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of early detection.

Early diagnosis and treatment can lead to better outcomes for your patients. Medicare can help patients get this life-saving screening service. Medicare covers one baseline screening mammogram for Medicare-eligible women aged 35 through 39 and an annual screening test for all female Medicare beneficiaries aged 40 and over. The deductible and coinsurance are waived for this screening service. An order or referral is not necessary for a screening mammography to be covered, as an eligible beneficiary can make a direct request. A clinical breast exam is also covered as part of the screening pelvic examination for beneficiaries who meet the coverage criteria.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' websiteExternal Website provides a list of things you can do in your office to promote the importance of this test. There you will find sample announcements, tweets, and a web badge you can add to your website to provide patients the latest information on mammograms.

Make a difference! Learn more about this beneficial preventive screening on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Learning Network (MLN®) Preventive Services educational toolExternal Website. Take advantage of the additional information available during October to encourage your patients to schedule a mammography. Spread the word about mammograms, and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved.

The Provider Outreach and Education A/B Medicare Administrative Contractor Workgroup developed this material. Our joint effort ensures consistent communication and education so that providers and physicians have the information they need to submit claims appropriately and receive proper payment in a timely manner.

Source: POE A/B MAC Workgroup; Preventive Services Educational ToolExternal Website; CMS National Coverage Determination (NCD) 220.4 – MammogramsExternal Website; CMS Internet-only manual (IOM) Pub. 100-04, Chapter 18, Section 20External PDF; CMS IOM Pub. 100-02, Chapter 15, Section 280.3External PDF; The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Breast Cancer Awareness webpageExternal Website

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