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Lung Biopsy Value, Costs Questioned
HealthLeaders Media

A study presented in Chicago recently calls for a hard look at the value of biopsies in lung cancer diagnoses.

The research focused on a random sample of nearly 9,000 Medicare beneficiaries who underwent diagnostic tests after an abnormal chest computed tomography scan. The study found 43% of the total diagnostic workup cost after the abnormal CT scans was linked to biopsies with negative results for patients who ended up not being diagnosed with lung cancer.

The total diagnostic workup cost for patients in the study was pegged at $38.3 million, with Medicare spending at $16.5 million on biopsies for patients who did not have lung cancer.