Isn't it surprising that even though digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) continues to prove itself as an advantageous technology, there is no dedicated reimbursement code for 3D tomosynthesis? The current recommendation is for facilities to report the HCPCS Level II "G" code for the 2D full-field digital mammography (FFDM) performed and also report code 76499,unlisted diagnostic radiologic procedure. However, facilities are not guaranteed reimbursement through code 76499, and a DBT system costs significantly more than a 2D FFDM system. As a result, reimbursement can play a role in a facility’s decision to invest in a digital mammography system, which makes obtaining the best price possible even more important.

In general, pricing for a digital mammography system depends heavily upon the desired functionality and configuration. Facilities may choose to include computer-aided detection (CAD), contrast-enhanced spectral mammography (CESM), review workstations, tomosynthesis, and upright biopsy components with their mammography system purchase. These options will influence the cost of the equipment. The lower end of the pricing seen reflects basic digital mammography solutions, while the higher end reflects more fully configured systems.

Most facilities opt for a full-service contract on their mammography equipment. Due to the high cost of the digital detector on mammography units (in excess of $100,000 out of warranty), detector coverage is almost always included in a service contract. For facilities with a strong Bio-Med department, BME First Call screening can provide savings of around 7 to 10 percent.

Full-Field Digital Mammography

Low High Average Price  
$176,400      $435,000            $273,936

System Service Support Prices
Low High Average Price  
$29,400        $59,570              $43,286

Digital Breast Tomosynthesis

Low High Average Price   
$399,400      $551,900           $462,007

System Service Support Prices
Low             High    Average Price    
$42,000    $78,910             $53,991

Source: MD Buyline

Please note these numbers have been adjusted to exclude special deals, outliers, and unique circumstances.


Publication Date: Thursday, March 13, 2014