Illinois Suspends Mammography Operations—Image Quality Cited

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The state of Illinois suspended mammography services at Belleville Imaging, Illinois, resulting in advisory letters going out to 2,100 patients, according to an article in the Belleville News-Democrat (BND). The center is now shuttered.

Upon request from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the ACR reviewed 30 examinations acquired between May 2014 and August of this year. More than half (18) of the 30 studies failed to meet image evaluation criteria.

The ACR reviewer found fault with patient positioning. compression, contrast and resolution, indicating a failure of processes, not technology. Further, the reviewer disagreed with nine of the 30 interpretations.

According to the BND article, interpretations were provided across the Mississippi River in Missouri by Esse Health, described on its website as the largest physician-owned and managed primary care group in St. Louis, Mo. Diagnostic imaging is among the services the practice provides.

Belleville Imaging’s manager defended the quality of the interpretations, telling the BND that he recalled just one known prior instance of “a delayed diagnosis,” described as one that could have been made earlier.

Patients were advised to consult a physician to find out if they needed to seek a second interpretation of their mammogram, all of which were transferred to the Breast Health Center at Memorial Hospital in Belleville. Nonetheless, chair of the ACR Committee on Mammography Accreditation, Jean M. Weigert, MD, FACR, told the paper that, “Many of the deficiencies were severe. The ACR believes that this facility’s practice poses a ‘serious risk to human health’ based on specific comments from the clinical image reviewer.”

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