ACR, SBI nix participation in NAPBC

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According to a statement on the website of the American College of Radiology (ACR), the College and the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) have ended their participation in the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), an initiative first proposed by members of the American College of Surgeons to accredit breast centers across the country.

The NAPBC is a voluntary program administered by an independent multidisciplinary board comprised of members of various medical organizations that are involved in the delivery of care in a breast center setting.

The ACR and SBI have participated in discussions with the organizers of the NAPBC for nearly two years. According to the statement: “We have, however, been unable to reach agreement with this body over the incorporation of the ACR’s long-established standards, practice guidelines, and accreditation programs related to breast imaging and image-guided interventions, despite the fact that these programs do not exclude participation by practitioners of specialties other than radiology.

Additionally, the ACR and SBI hold that in order to ensure quality care in a breast center setting, the other specialties involved first need to establish and validate standards for their own specialties that are comparable to those developed for breast imaging by the American College of Radiology.”

As a result, the ACR and SBI are not participating in or supporting this program. The ACR is planning to introduce a voluntary Breast Imaging Centers of Excellence (BICOE) initiative whereby facilities that meet certain criteria will receive this designation. This initiative should be available from the ACR by the fall of 2007.