Policies to Promote Effective Use of Preoperative Breast MRI

The use of breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has increased substantially in recent years; however, limited professional guidance exists for its use. In the absence of explicit guidelines and given the high cost of MRIs, substantial concerns exist about the economic consequences and health benefits. Drs. Gretchen Ahrendt and Melony Sorbero’s study develops comparative effectiveness and cost effectiveness models to inform policymakers on the health and financial consequences of using preoperative breast MRI. The foci of the study are to 1) establish the feasibility of using UPMC clinical data systems to identify preoperative breast MRIs and quantify variation in ordering behaviors, and 2) interview physicians from four specialties to understand the perceived risks and benefits of preoperative MRIs by patient type.