We are a screening facility that schedules only asymptomatic patients for mammography. Our equipment cannot perform magnification.
Are we permitted to perform additional views on patients who unexpectedly report an abnormality or area of concern at the time of the study or who have an abnormality detected during the screening mammogram, or must we refer such patients to another facility that has magnification capabilities?
If an abnormality or area of concern is unexpectedly reported (for example, by the patient) at the time of the examination or detected on a screening mammogram, facilities are permitted to perform additional views during this examination, that, in their judgment, may help clarify and further characterize the finding (as benign or malignant) or eliminate it as normal overlapping parenchymal structures. Such additional views may include, for example, repeat standard views, spot compression, rolled, or exaggerated views. If, however, the facility decides that a magnification view is necessary for the work-up of the case, but does not have this capability, the patient should be referred to a facility that does have magnification capability. Facilities should have guidelines for adequately addressing such situations that unexpectedly arise at the time of the study, within their standard operating procedures. Please note that this guidance applies only to those situations in which facilities become aware of unexpected abnormalities or areas of concern, either reported at the time of the study or detected on a screening mammogram. Facilities without magnification capability should not knowingly schedule patients requiring noninterventional problem solving mammographic procedures.