ACR Plans Breast MRI Accreditation Program

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , April 9, 2010

The American College of Radiology announced it will launch a Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging Accreditation Program on May 10.

The program was developed by the ACR Committee on Breast MRI Accreditation. It will provide peer-review assessment of facilities' breast MRI services equipment, processes, and the quality of their images. For facilities that offer only breast imaging services, the accreditation program fulfills accreditation requirements under the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008.

"This program will help patients and their providers identify practices that provide high-quality breast MRI," said Constance Lehman, MD, chair of the ACR Committee on Breast MRI Accreditation, in a news release. "This accreditation program sets quality standards for breast MRI providers and helps them continuously improve patient care by evaluating the qualifications of personnel, equipment performance, effectiveness of quality control measures, and image quality,"

Facilities must submit clinical images and data for each magnet performing breast MRI examination at their site. Facilities performing breast MRI must be able to perform mammographic correlation, directed breast ultrasound, and MRI-guided intervention, or create a referral arrangement with a cooperating facility that could provide these services.

The cooperating facility must be accredited by the ACR in breast MRI, or, until May 10, 2011, has had an application for breast MRI accreditation accepted by the ACR.

ACR CEO Harvey L. Neiman said more than 200 facilities have already shown an interest in participating in the ACR Breast MRI Accreditation Program, and will receive instructions on how to get started after May 10.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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