For How Long Should You Retain Mammography Records?

January 11, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Health System


‚ÄčIn response to confusion over the wording of provisions in the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on January 5, 2017, released guidance on mammography record retention. MQSA states that a facility must "maintain mammography films and reports in a permanent medical record of the patient for a period of not less than 5 years, or not less than 10 years if no additional mammograms of the patient are performed at the facility, or a longer period if mandated by State or local law." Some facilities expressed confusion regarding the two time ranges. At a minimum, FDA clarified, each mammogram must be retained for at least five years. If a patient returns to the facility for subsequent mammograms within that "time frame, only the most recent 5 years' worth of exams must be retained."

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