Screening Mammography:

Federal Quality Standards Are Needed

T-HRD-92-39: Published: Jun 5, 1992. Publicly Released: Jun 5, 1992.

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GAO discussed the quality of screening mammography provided in different settings. GAO noted that: (1) many of the 1,485 mammography providers surveyed in four states lacked adequate quality assurance programs; (2) those providers reporting the highest rates of compliance with many quality standards were those that performed the highest volume of mammography, but there was no consistent relationship between what providers charged for screening mammograms and their compliance with quality standards; (3) the association between higher volume and greater quality control is important because high-volume screening can permit economies of scale, which lower fees; (4) primary care physicians and multispecialty clinics were the screening settings that consistently reported the lowest rates of compliance with quality assurance standards; and (5) only nine states have laws requiring quality control standards for mammography services.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: P.L. 102-539 establishes federal quality standards for all mammography facilities and requires all facilities to be federally certified as of October 1, 1994.

    Matter: Congress may wish to consider adopting federal regulations that would protect all woman receiving screening mammograms.


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