Mammography facility characteristics and repeat mammography use among Medicare beneficiaries

Kimberly K. Engelman, Edward F. Ellerbeck, Matthew S. Mayo, Samuel J. Markello, Jasjit S. Ahluwalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background. The goal of this study was to examine mammography facility characteristics and explore how such characteristics may impact repeat mammography use. Methods. Mammography facility characteristics were obtained through a mailed a 21-item survey to Kansas mammography facilities. Medicare mammography claims were used to calculate facility-specific repeat mammography rates. Administrative data included female Kansas beneficiaries aged 65 years and older (N = 39,035) with a baseline mammogram during 1999. Beneficiaries with a mammography claim 12-18 months after their baseline mammogram were deemed to have had a repeat mammogram. Results. Completed surveys were received from 90% (N = 79) of the 97 facilities serving >10 beneficiaries. Most facilities were in rural communities (58%), had an on-site radiologist (58%), and mailed mammography reminders to patients (63%). Extended hours of operation and the acceptance of self-referrals were uncommon (33% and 37%, respectively). Few facilities employed a quality improvement team (33%) or measured annual patient return rates (18%), but many measured patient satisfaction (57%). Of the beneficiaries, 61% had a repeat mammogram during the subsequent 12-18 months (range, 0% to 84%). Facilities notifying primary care providers of patients due for mammograms had higher repeat mammography rates. Multiple regression analyses found that higher repeat mammography rates were associated with facilities that accepted self-referrals, measured patient satisfaction, were in urban areas, and served a larger proportion of white beneficiaries. Conclusion. Mammography facility characteristics and repeat mammography rates vary widely. Although modifiable facility characteristics that may influence repeat mammography need additional study, results from this study indicate that mammography facilities are an opportunistic arena for quality improvement endeavors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-497
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by contract number 500-99-KS01 entitled “Utilization and Quality Control Peer Review Organization for the State of Kansas”, sponsored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the view or policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.


  • Breast neoplasm
  • Health facilities
  • Health services accessibility
  • Mammography
  • Mammography facility characteristics

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