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March 26, 2016
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1 Introduction
Mammography Quality Standards Act



The Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) was enacted by the United States Congress to regulate the quality of care in mammography. The act was officially effective in 1994, and was extended in 2004 to continue through 2007. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began inspections of mammography facilities to ensure compliance in 1995. In 1997, more comprehensive regulation was added to become effective in 1999.

The FDA explains MQSA:

The Mammography Quality Standards Act requires mammography facilities across the nation to meet uniform quality standards. Congress passed this law in 1992 to assure high-quality mammography for early breast cancer detection, which can lead to early treatment, a range of treatment options leading to an increased chance of survival. Under the law, all mammography facilities must: 1) be accredited by an FDA-approved accreditation body, 2) be certified by FDA, or its State, as meeting the standards, 3) undergo an annual MQSA inspection, and 4) prominently display the certificate issued by the agency.

MQSA requires facilities to "be accredited by an FDA-approved accreditation body." Currently the only nationally-approved body is the American College of Radiology (ACR).

State-level alternatives to the ACR are the Arkansas Department of Health, Iowa Department of Public Health, and Texas Department of State Health Services.

MQSA is intended to maintain high quality mammography in the United States and its territories but many patients are unaware of its effects. Changes in the final regulations directly affecting regular patients include:

  • Mammography facilities are required to provide patients with written results of their mammograms in language that is easy to understand. Also known as a "lay report."

  • A consumer complaint mechanism is required to be established in mammography facilities to provide patients with a process for addressing their concerns.

  • Patients can obtain their original mammograms, not copies, when they are needed.

  • For cases in which a facility???s mammograms are determined to be substandard and a risk to public health, facilities will notify the patients and their doctors and suggest an appropriate plan of action.

  • US FDA Mammography Program

  • Full text of the amended act

  • ACR Home Page

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mammography Quality Standards Act".

Last Modified:   2010-11-25

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