ACR revises requirements for breast ultrasound accreditation

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The American College of Radiology (ACR) Committee on Breast Ultrasound Accreditation has updated the program requirements for accreditation due to revisions to the ACR practice guideline, "Performance of a Breast Ultrasound Examination," that went into effect Oct.1.

The primary changes to the program requirements address interpreting physician qualifications, equipment specifications and image labeling.

According to the guideline, a physician performing or interpreting diagnostic breast ultrasound exams at a facility accredited by the ACR must meet the following minimum criteria:
  • Have certification in radiology or diagnostic radiology by the American Board of Radiology, the American Osteopathic Board of Radiology, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or Le College des Medecins du Quebec and have supervised or performed, interpreted and reported 300 breast ultrasound exams in the last three years; or
  • Have completed an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) approved diagnostic radiology residency program and have supervised or performed, interpreted and reported 300 breast ultrasound exams in the last three years;  or if not certified; and
  • Have completed an ACGME-approved residency program in specialty practice and 200 hours of category 1 CME in breast-related courses as well as supervised or performed, interpreted and reported 500 breast ultrasound exams in the last three years in a supervised situation.
To maintain certification, a physician must then perform at least 100 exams annually or undergo an evaluation that indicates proficiency and fulfillment of the ACR practice guideline for CME. Separate certification requirements apply to ultrasound-guided biopsies.

All physicians performing or supervising ultrasound-guided biopsies must also meet the following minimum criteria:
  • Be qualified to interpret mammograms under MQSA or review with a MQSA-qualified physician and have performed three supervised ultrasound-guided biopsies; and
  • Have completed three hours of category 1 CME didactic instruction in ultrasound-guided breast biopsy.
Physicians must perform 12 ultrasound-guided biopsies annually and complete three hours of category 1 CME every three years to maintain certification.

All facilities applying for ACR breast ultrasound accreditation or renewing their existing breast ultrasound accreditation must meet the new program requirements.