Radiology Done Right
How breast imaging has built a model practice
Excellence in some fields of medicine seems to be born of necessity. When a condition becomes so prevalent that it touches the lives of almost everyone you know in some way, patient demand for quality care raises the bar for better health care practices. That has been the case, many agree, for breast imaging.
Neiman Institute Releases Breast Screening Bundle Tool
A new free resource allows radiology practices to estimate professional, technical, and global bundled prices for breast cancer screening bundles using different assumptions for which services are included, service utilization, and reimbursement rates.
Not Your Typical Day
A recent fellow provides a snapshot of a day in the life of a breast imager.
“Part of my enjoyment in practicing breast imaging is that there is rarely a typical day,” says Ann L. Brown, MD, who completed her breast imaging fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston this summer.
The ACR Education Center takes its breast imaging workshop to Saudi Arabia as part of its efforts to improve global health.
Breast cancer kills more than 500,000 women worldwide annually. In countries with few resources and limited screening programs, women with breast cancer are often diagnosed in advanced stages of the disease and have low chances of survival.
The Challenge of Protecting Mammography
The ACR Commission on Economics continues its efforts to maintain the economic viability of mammography services.
The coding and payment structure for mammography services changes on Jan. 1, 2017. Over the past three years, the Commission on Economics has worked to ensure the best outcomes for mammography services.
A Life’s Passion
Michael N. Linver, MD, found his calling in breast imaging.
Michael N. Linver, MD, FACR, director of mammography at X-Ray Associates of New Mexico, is a distinguished breast imaging radiologist who has helped proliferate modern mammography techniques in the United States.
Moving the Message
What are the most effective ways to educate both patients and clinicians about the benefits of screening?
The black-and-white video features women who were diagnosed with breast cancer in their 40s and 50s. They talk about their families and discovering their cancer. They all say that starting annual mammograms at age 40 likely saved their lives.
When Barbara received her breast cancer diagnosis, she joined two of her aunts in fighting the disease.
My family has a history of breast cancer. Two aunts on my mother's side battled the disease.
Reducing Anxiety, One Patient at A Time
Can radiologists help their patients feel more comfortable with screening procedures? According to a recent study published in the JACR, the answer is yes.
Leading the Way in Patient Interaction
What can breast imagers share with the specialty when it comes to patient communication?
Communication is a fundamental part of the human experience. Any average day is filled with countless moments of personal interaction, from exchanging a simple "good morning" with a colleague to dictating a case to starting a dialogue to resolve a problem. Yet finding a moment to speak directly with a patient can be challenge for many radiologists.
Cutting Down on Missed Opportunities
Skipped appointments tell us more about our patients' access to care than you might think.
As a professional organization, the ACR has been a tremendous advocate for women's access to screening mammography annually starting at age 40, which gives the maximum life-saving benefit.
Getting Some Clarity Around Screening Mammography
In these muddy waters, can we find and fight breast cancer?
Saving lives through mammography does not have to be expensive. In fact, an informed use of current technology allows breast cancer specialists to diagnose and treat the disease better than ever before. Yet recent updates to the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and American Cancer Society (ACS) breast cancer screening guidelines have muddied the waters, leaving the public, patients, and providers searching for answers in the quest to catch and cure breast cancer.
Get the latest from the Board of Chancellors and the Council Steering Committee fall meeting, held Sept. 28 through Oct. 1, 2015.
With a packed agenda, the Board of Chancellors (BOC) and the Council Steering Committee (CSC) covered a lot of ground at the most recent meeting. Here are some of the high points to keep you informed.
Taken to Task
When the USPSTF issued mammography screening draft guidelines, the ACR took action.
Many observational studies have demonstrated the efficacy of women beginning mammography screenings at the age of 40. In addition, organizations such as the ACR and the Society of Breast Imaging have contended that the so-called “downsides” to starting screening at age 40 are overstated. Most instances in which patients may be recalled due to inconclusive findings result in nothing more than another mammogram or ultrasound being performed. Published studies show that anxiety from this process is short lived, has no lasting effects, and pales in comparison to the enormous benefits of catching breast cancer early to reduce mortality.
Breast cancer’s history is rife with empowered patients willing to fight for the cause. How can breast imagers continue that effort?
Breast cancer awareness is everywhere. Once October hits, the varied pinks of breast cancer awareness ribbons and products are just as common as the red and oranges of falling leaves. It’s hard to believe that decades ago even mentioning breast cancer was frowned upon.
Spreading The Word
An online pilot program prepares breast imagers to combat misinformation about breast cancer screening.
As controversy continues to swirlaround mammography, patients and referring physicians often struggle to make sense of the conflicting information about this life-saving screening.
The Mammogram I Almost Missed
Chelsey Fischer decided to have a mammogram despite the USPSTF screening recommendations. Her choice saved her life.
Every person has several pivotal moments in their life, ones that you look back on and judge your life before and after.
Let’s End the Confusion
A new campaign from the Society of Breast Imaging seeks to set the record straight on mammography screening.
In the last five years, we at the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) have been fighting an uphill battle to carry out our mission: “to save lives through early detection, quality education, and trusted information provided to patients, physicians, and organizations worldwide.”
Speak Up For Screening
The 2015 Breast Imaging Special Section
It’s been a hard few years for breast cancer screening. Despite its proven ability to save lives, the media and government regulators continually call into question the value of screening. As the controversy swirls, women are left with unanswered questions and a growing list of doubts about how to make decisions about their health.
This issue of the Bulletin reminds all radiologists why mammography is worth speaking up for.
Breast Density Update
Where does your state stand?
To date, 24 states have passed some form of dense breast legislation that requires breast density notification or disclosure for patients. An additional four states have provisions that are not direct mandates. Read on to find out the status of your state.
Protecting Women’s Access to Screening Mammography
These members of Congress got it right.
In August, Senators Keely Ayotte (R-NH) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) introduced the Protect Access to Lifesaving Screenings (PALS) Act (S. 1926) in the U.S. Senate.
ACR Breast Imaging Resources
Social Media Icons:
Show your support for mammography by adding some pink to your social media profiles for the month of October.
Banners for Twitter:
Banners for Facebook:
Resources for You and Your Patients
A Resident’s Primer on Breast Density
Are we communicating with our patients clearly about this controversial topic?
What Does Current Breast Density Legislation Entail?
In October 2009, Connecticut passed Public Act 09-41, requiring radiologists to communicate breast density information to patients undergoing mammography for both screening and diagnostic mammograms.
3 Things to Read Today
Intriguing links from around the web
This week in links we have Congressional reaction to the USPSTF’s updated breast screening recommendations, how exposure to reading prior to kindergarten might impact how a child’s brain processes stories, and how HHS and Congress plan to collaborate in fixing EHR issues.
3 Things to Read Today
Intriguing links from around the web
This week in links we have the pros and cons of image sharing, how to engage with your patients, and the USPSTF’s updated breast screening recommendations.
Screening for Health
Breast cancer incidence is increasing worldwide. How are radiologists getting involved?
Breast cancer is the is the most common cancer affecting women across the globe, according to the World Health Organization.1
Mapping Out Success
Survivorship plans are a critical tool for patient care, yet they are not always implemented.
Imagine that you've just landed in a foreign country. Problematically, you don't speak the language, you don't know how to get to your hotel, and you don't know any of the social customs. Dead ends seem to hit you everywhere, and you don't know whom to call for help.
Massachusetts and Missouri have become the 18th and 19th states, respectively,
to enact breast density notification laws.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed MA House Bill 3733 (S. 2181) into law on June 26th. The statute will require mammography services providers to supply a patient with written notification "in terms easily understood by a lay person" if the patient’s mammogram reveals dense breast tissue, as determined by the interpreting physician.
Bringing Mammography into Focus
Conflicting information in the media often leads to patient confusion.
Do you remember the Magic Eye stereograms you may have had as a kid? At first, the image is a confusing, distorted mess of pixels. As you stare at the page, your eye cannot rest on one thing; it's just endless rows of patterns. But after a moment, your eyes focus, and the distorted pixels sort themselves into a 3-D image. Everything makes sense.
Adopting a Patient Perspective
When Karin Charnoff-Katz, MD, was diagnosed with breast cancer, she entered the patient experience and left a changed physician
On my way to work as a general radiologist in Memphis, I detoured to stop for a routine screening mammogram. I was 41 and a few months late for my second annual screening.
Communication and Collaboration
The Commission on Breast Imaging works with stakeholders from throughout the College to improve screening and address controversy.
The Commission on Breast Imaging was formed to address issues related to breast imaging and breast imagers, including development of Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards and ACR Appropriateness Criteria® as well issues related to screening and government regulations.
Breast Imaging Today
The Chair of the National Conference on Breast Cancer gives the Bulletin a look at the big issues in breast imaging and tour of this year's program.
Chair of the 2014 National Conference on Breast Cancer (NCBC) Bonnie N. Joe, MD, PhD, chief of women’s imaging at University of California, San Francisco, discusses what’s new in breast imaging, weighs in on the 2009 USPSTF guidelines, and tells us the single reason that would make the trip to NCBC worth it.
Experts from ACR's Clinical Research Center discuss their efforts to improve the outcomes and quality of life of women diagnosed with breast cancer.
ACR's clinical research efforts bring together physicians throughout the medical community in search of new tools in the fight against breast cancer. In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Bulletin spoke with ACRIN and Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG®) breast cancer leadership about trials, results, and the future of breast cancer research.
Breast Imaging in a New Dimension
Tomosynthesis is gaining popularity among breast imaging specialists. Will it overtake mammography?
New technology always causes a splash in its particular community. In breast imaging, tomosynthesis (tomo) is creating ripples.
Radiologists are working to increase access to life-saving breast imaging in nations throughout the world.
When it comes to breast cancer, the difference between access to screening and treatment resources from one nation to another can be striking. The Bulletin caught up with three radiologists working in countries across the globe to explore efforts to increase imaging, understand cultural barriers, and cut breast cancer rates.
The More You Know
Expand your mind with the College's breast imaging resources.
Your College representatives are thinking about tools and information for breast imagers year-round, not just in October. Plus, with the new ACR website, you'll find valuable breast imaging resources in one place: http://bit.ly/BreastImagingResources.
Seeing Fewer Mammograms
Mammogram rates drop following the 2009 USPSTF recommendations.
The breast imaging community can now reflect on the effects of the United States Preventive Services Task Force's (USPSTF) controversial 2009 guidelines, which stated routine mammography for breast cancer was unnecessary in women younger than 50.
Shedding Light on Breast Density
Radiologists discuss the implications of breast density legislation.
Politics and health care are not unusual bedfellows. Health care is something we all need, which means everyone — including government task forces and state legislators — has ideas about what's best for themselves as well as others, and some have the power to turn recommendations into mandates or legislation.
To Standardize or Not to Standardize?
Applying the main principles of MQSA to other areas of radiology may prove valuable.
Standardizing the way medical imaging is performed and how its subsequent reads are classified and communicated can help ensure patient safety, proper training for technologists, image quality, and even appropriate equipment calibration.
Amidst a busy year for breast imagers, the SBI continues to flourish.
While tremendous strides have been made in breast-cancer research and treatment during the past decade, squaring off against the disease is not an easy feat.