The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), along with six other healthcare delivery providers, raised concerns over a second healthcare crisis of missed diagnosis due to delayed care in a letter to the National Governors Association.
Citing a recent study demonstrating there could be an excess of 10,000 deaths due to cancer screening delays, MITA and other letter signatories requested that states pursue efforts to safely ensure access to necessary screenings and treatments during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The ongoing uncertainty over suspended non-emergent procedures has created anxiety for providers and patients alike,” says Patrick Hope, executive director of MITA. “The consequences of missed diagnosis or unchecked progression of disease can be severe and last for years– so states have the responsibility to take action quickly to safely resume imaging services.”
For many diseases, diagnosis requires appropriate imaging such as MRI, PET, CT, or diagnostic mammography. Underscoring this reality, letter signatories urged governors to allow patients to undergo appropriate diagnostic procedures and address health conditions in settings that do not restrict the ability of providers to treat COVID-19 patients. “Cancer and other diseases do not stop, and imaging should not either,” Hope concludes.