Medical testing gone astray?

posted by
September 12, 2011
Boston Globe    
Posted in News, PND News

"Tufts University and at least two other New England hospitals have teamed up in the past year with private technology company Navix Diagnostix, Inc. to offer tests to detect vascular problems at community venues. They include an ultrasound of the carotid and aortic arteries and a blood pressure test at the ankle. But the US Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend the screening tests for the general public -- people without symptoms -- citing a lack of evidence that they improve long-term health, and the risk of harm from follow-up tests and treatment." [editor's note: As someone who took advantage of something similar to get tested, I'm not sure if I should be concerned or not - SAT] (09/12/11)  
  • I’m not familiar with Navix Diagnostix, but I am very familiar with the US Preventive Services Task Force and their recommendations regarding ankle brachial index testing (blood pressure test at the ankle).

    In 2005, the Task Force examined ABI testing and did not recommend that it be covered as a preventive benefit under Medicare. However, their analysis was seriously flawed, something the PAD Coalition and members of Congress pointed out in several letters to the agency.

    The Task Force is in the process of revising its recommendation for ABI testing as a means for identifying those at high risk for heart attacks and strokes (much like standard blood pressure test).

    This type of test is already recommended for high-risk patients by the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. We can only hope that once they finish their review, Medicare patients will be able to take advantage of this noninvasive and inexpensive test.

    Joseph LaMountain

    Washington Representative

    PAD Coalition

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