Radiologists benefit from uptick in breast biopsies

May 1, 2006

The volume of breast biopsies has soared in recent years, and radiologists are reaping the benefits of the increase.

The volume of breast biopsies has soared in recent years, and radiologists are reaping the benefits of the increase.

Dr. David Levin of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia examined utilization of four breast biopsy CPT codes-with and without imaging guidance-for Medicare beneficiaries between 1999 and 2003. Not only has the number of biopsies doubled during that time, but radiologists' share of those surgeries increased by 50% compared with 25% for surgeons.

The coup reflects the growing use of imaging guidance. In 2003, 83% of all breast biopsies were performed with image guidance. More than 70% of image-guided procedures performed in 2003 were in the hands of radiologists, Levin reported at the 2005 RSNA meeting.