Skip to comments.Why Planned Parenthood Won’t Provide Mammograms
Posted on 10/25/2012 2:42:12 PM PDT by rhema
President Barack Obama, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, and countless supporters have claimed again and again that Planned Parenthood provides mammograms. President Obama did so in the second presidential debate, describing the millions of women all across the country who rely on Planned Parenthood for . . . mammograms.
The problem is the mammogram claim is untrue, as was just cleverly highlighted by Schedule Your Imaginary Mammogram Day, a phone campaign that found no Planned Parenthood clinics capable of breast cancer screening. Planned Parenthood has neither the license nor the machines. The most the abortion giant has ever done is refer women to outside mammogram providers, filling the role of the Yellow Pages or Google.
Yet the claim is persistently made, despite its falsehood, in order to rebrand Planned Parenthood not as the abortion business it is, but instead as a health care provider.
Key to that health care narrative is the claim that Planned Parenthood provides substantial cancer-screening services, such as mammograms. (Apparently the pap smears Planned Parenthood really does administer are insufficient fodder for the narrative.)
Why doesnt Planned Parenthood just offer mammograms? Doing so would do real good while saving their public defenders from credibility diminishing lies.
The answer may lie in what economists call the contribution margin. The contribution margin of each procedure is the marginal profit per unit of sale and thus the amount each procedure contributes to the coverage of fixed costs (such as executive compensation) and to profits.
The problem for Planned Parenthoodwhich thinks and acts much more like a business than most people realizeis that mammograms are much less profitable than the relatively lucrative procedure of abortion.
In his article Mammography: Is its success threatened by low reimbursement rates?, radiologist Dr. James Youker highlights the problem of low reimbursement rates for mammography and the high cost of complying with the increasingly complex regulations. A more recent article by Dr. Gillian Newstead documents the problems persistence:
The American College of Radiology (ACR) conducted a survey that . . . found that the actual cost to perform a screening mammogram was $93.98. With the typical reimbursement rate of approximately $80, it is clear that the hospital lost money for each screening exam performed.
In the outpatient setting, where the costs can be more controlled, the survey found the cost per mammogram to be approximately $59.00. Nonetheless, it is clear that there are no large profits to be made from screening mammography.
Another economic study . . . found that in all practices mammography had a negative profit margin. The loss for physician full-time equivalent (FTE) was variable between the practices studied but was between $50,000 and $100,000 per year.
Since Dr. Newstead penned her article, digital mammography has replaced older technology. Although digital reimbursement rates are 1.7 times greater than film rates (at $140 per screening), digital machines are three to five times more expensive. Thus, mammography economics have improved little to none.
RadNet, the countrys largest imaging and diagnostic company, comments in its most recent presentation that mammogram volumes have been adversely affected by the economy and a government taskforce changing the recommended age from 40+ to 50+. RadNet also comments that it expects continued pressure from Medicare on reimbursement rates.
If Planned Parenthood were to perform mammograms, we could assume a contribution marginthat is, contribution to profitof $3.51 per procedure. This is reflective of the average of Dr. Newsteads hospital and freestanding center margins of a $13.98 loss and a $21.00 profit, respectively. Even this may be generous, particularly given Dr. Newsteads comments about mammography losses and the fact that many industry experts describe the modality as unprofitable.
How profitable is abortion? Two scenarios can be used to estimate Planned Parenthoods abortion contribution margin, Scenario A and Scenario B. In both scenarios, 330,000 annual abortions were assumed.
The retail price of an abortion is $500 to $900. The $500 floor was documented some years ago, and is the price that was used in Scenario A. Planned Parenthoods Hudson-Peconic clinic quotes an online price of $900 for a sixteen- to seventeen-week in-clinic abortion. A $900 price was used in Scenario B.
Regarding costs per abortion, data is available from Planned Parenthoods most recent annual report. In that report is a line item entitled Expenses - Medical Services, which should reflect the variable costs associated with procedures like abortions.
These medical service expenses totaled $699 million in the most recently reported period. Two methods are used to allocate that expense to Planned Parenthoods abortions. In Scenario A, Planned Parenthoods own estimate of abortions as 3 percent of services is used. In Scenario B, a 5 times higher expense allocation of 15 percent is assumed.
This 15 percent expense estimate is conservative because abortion doctors use low-cost vacuums and garbage bags; forceps and scissors are reused; and (unlike a mammogram) an abortions result requires little in the way of interpretation or follow-up. Planned Parenthood makes about $400 to $600 per abortion. Scenario As $500 sale price and 3 percent cost allocation results in a contribution margin of $436 per abortion. Scenario Bs $900 sale price and 15 percent cost allocation results in a contribution margin of $582 per abortion.
Abortion is 125 to 165 times more profitable than mammography. Given a choice between 330,000 mammograms or 330,000 abortions, cancer screening will lose every time. Life, love, families, faith, concern for our most vulnerable, presidential credibility: Abortions altar demands many sacrifices. There is no reason to believe mammograms are exempt. Mammograms were invented over forty years ago and Planned Parenthood still doesnt offer them because, in comparison, abortion is a gold mine.
In 2009, a government task force recommended regular mammograms only for women fifty years and older. Planned Parenthoods target audience is young75 percent of abortions are by teens and twenty-somethings. Planned Parenthoods demographic is unlikely to ever demand breast care.
Mammograms are an unprofitable imaging modality, requiring a cross subsidy from technologies like CT, PET, and MRI. Likewise, Planned Parenthood mammograms would require a similar cross subsidy; requiring a reduction in abortion profits, executive compensation, or both.
On that point, President Obama once argued that health insurance profits were driving up the costs of health care and suggested that eliminating those greedy companies profits and fat salaries would improve health care.
The same could apply here. Cecile Richards earns about $400,000 per year, her directors and top lieutenants are clearing $200,000 to $300,000 each, and ten clinic administrators make over $260,000 each. For forty years and counting, these executives have shown no inclination to offer mammograms. The simple reason is that economics have prevailed.
Because the patient usually lives...........
I looked into for myself a few years ago and the cost to me was about $600. I got insurance not long after.
Of course the initial outlay for the equipment must be huge.
I had a little fun one time by calling Planned Parenthood and asking them if they did family planning. “Oh, yes!” they said.
I then told them that my wife and I were planning on having ten children, and asked them if they had a plan for that. The woman was dumbfounded and responded in the negative.
I kept dropping the number to see if they had any plans, until I finally asked, “If you don’t help people plan families, then what do you do?” That was followed by a litany of birth control and abortion statements, to which I replied, “So, what you are telling me is that you don’t do family planning, you do planning for not having a family??”
It was really an amusing conversation. I recommend it to everyone wanting to have a litttle fun.
I haven’t seen the “news” media fact-check Zero’s statement yet..... should I hold my breath?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well you know, I dont know how these guys come up with these ideas. Let me make a very simple proposition.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Rape is rape. It is a crime. And so, these various distinctions about rape and, you know dont make too much sense to me. Dont make any sense to me. The second thing this underscores, though, this is exactly why you dont want a bunch of politicians mostly male making decisions about womens health care decisions. I women are capable of making these decisions in consultation with their partners, with their doctors. And, you know, for politicians to want to intrude in this stuff, often times without any information, is a huge problem. And this is obviously a part of whats at stake in this election. Youve got a Supreme Court that you know, typically a president is gonna have probably another couple of appointments during the course of his term. And, you know, Roe vs. Wade is probably hanging in the balance. Youve got issues like Planned Parenthood where, you know, that organization provides millions of women cervical cancer screenings, mammograms all kinds of basic healthcare.
The article did address this aspect. It stated that the average reimbursement rate is $80.00 except on the new digital mammograms, where the typical reimbursement is $140.00. As most exams are provided either under private insurance, medicare, or another state program, this is what the hospital receives in return for the services. The amount charged to cash customers is not relevant, as it only applies to a very small number of the procedures performed. So, essentially, the hospital "charges" (although the insurers cram it down their throats) between $80 and $140.
They do “Family avoidance”.
PPhood is the child of the father of lies, a murderer from the start, so why are we surprised when they lie so boldly and their little bastard boy-god lies also?
Have you seen the 1950 movie version of Cheaper by the Dozen? In that film, the father was visited by some women from Planned Parenthood who had heard he had a large living room and wondered if he might use it for a meeting place. The father responded by signaling his children to take their places on the stairs, and when the visitors asked whether all those children were his, he answered in the affirmative, whereupon the women beat a hasty departure.