At Southtowns Radiology, our number-one priority is your health. We strive to offer the best imaging technology available and the education you need to make good decisions for your body. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’ve been answering our readers’ questions about breast health and mammograms. So far, we’ve talked about when to schedule a mammogram and whether you should worry about the radiation dose. Also, we learned how to prepare for your test and what to expect during your exam. Today, we tackle another question we’ve heard from many of our clients.
Q: Do I Need a Referral From My Doctor to Schedule a Mammogram?
Answer: Southtowns Radiology does require a referral before scheduling your mammogram. Referrals can be from a physician or mid-level healthcare provider, such as a nurse practitioner. While you might think this step sounds unnecessary, we believe there are excellent reasons this is the way to get you the best care possible.
· Referrals Ensure You Receive the Right Test
Even though we’ve simply been using the word “mammogram” throughout this series, there are several different types of mammograms. For example, we offer both 2D and 3D mammograms. Though we believe that 3D breast imaging is almost always the better choice, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider when deciding which scans are right for you. Since they are more familiar with your personal and family history, they are better equipped to evaluate your individual needs.
· Having Your Referral Information Helps Us Share your Results When Necessary
You should always keep your primary care provider in the loop regarding any tests you receive. Even when your images come back clean, it’s helpful for your doctor to have a detailed record on hand; but more importantly, they will need to know about any abnormal results so they can help you coordinate any follow-up testing and treatments that might be necessary.
· A Referral Makes It Easier for Your Insurance to Cover the Expense
Even when following the recommended schedule for breast health screening, some of our clients have found that their insurance companies balk at reimbursing them for the cost of their test. A documented referral is proof that your tests were necessary, which protects you from having to pay out-of-pocket.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this educational series, but don’t stop here! You can never know too much about your health or your body’s needs. Please contact us with any and all of your health screening needs. As you know, we offer much more than just mammograms. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our three locations in the greater Buffalo, NY area.