Mont. hospital fires back at former rad group over equipment issues

St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena, Mont., has accused a radiology group that formerly provided imaging services to the hospital of reading 3,000 mammograms on incorrect equipment in 2008, according to a report in Helena Independent Record.

The charge follows a lawsuit by the radiology group, Helena Interventional and Diagnostic Radiology Specialists (HIDRS), which claimed the hospital abused “monopoly power” by denying credentials for the group to practice in the hospital.

Mammography acccreditation requires radiologists to read mammograms on certain five-megapixel monitors. However, St. Peter's claimed that from about April to September 2008, HIDRS used other monitors during interpretation of about 3,000 mammograms, according to Helena Independent Record.

Lawyers for HIDRS quoted in the report said the group re-read some mammograms and found no discrepancies. They also said St. Peter’s was using the charge to damage the reputation of the radiologists.

In an email to Helena Independent Record, a spokeswoman for St. Peter’s reassured community members that the mammograms were re-read and corrected, if necessary.

HIDRS had contracted with the hospital until the contract was awarded to another group in February 2009.