DAL 16-02 - Screening for Breast Cancer

May 26, 2016

DHDTC DAL: 16-02 - Screening for Breast Cancer

Dear Chief Executive Officer:

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among women in New York State. Each year approximately 15,000 women in New York are diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 2,640 die from the disease. Screening for breast cancer, which includes mammography, can increase detection of the disease at an early stage, when treatment is most effective.

Additionally, the Community Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts appointed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has determined that structural barriers, such as inconvenient appointment times, can have a significant impact on a woman’s ability to obtain screening. While approximately 70% of hospitals and hospital extension clinics provide extended hours for screening mammography, 30% do not.

Accordingly, a new regulatory amendment, effective 5/18/16, was adopted by the Public Health and Health Planning Council in April 2016 concerning the hours that screening mammography services are offered in hospitals and hospital extension clinics. The new section, 10 NYCRR § 405.33, would require any hospital or hospital extension clinic that offers screening mammography services to offer extended hours (i.e., in the early mornings, evenings, or on weekends) during at least two days each week, for at least two hours each day offered, for a total of at least four hours each week. Times at which extended hours may be offered include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • (1) Monday through Friday, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.;
  • (2) Monday through Friday, between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.; or
  • (3) Saturday or Sunday, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Facilities could offer these extended hours on the weekend or in the early mornings or evenings during the week. For example, the extended hours do not need to be in addition to a full 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. workday; facilities can adjust staffing and appointment schedules to allow for early or late appointments (i.e., operating 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. or 8:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays).

A facility may submit an application for a waiver (attached) from the requirement of offering extended hours, if it can demonstrate, to the Department’s satisfaction, that it:

  • (1) Does not have sufficient staff to provide extended hours, but is making diligent efforts to obtain the necessary staffing;
  • (2) Is in the process of discontinuing mammography services, as part of a consolidation or similar change; or
  • (3) Is subject to such other hardships as the Department deems appropriate.

The Department may deny, grant or extend a waiver for 90 days, or more if the Department determines appropriate, in its sole discretion.

Should you have questions concerning this letter, or wish to apply for a waiver, please contact the Division of Hospitals and Diagnostic and Treatment Centers at hospinfo@health.ny.gov or (518) 402-1003.


Ruth W. Leslie
Division of Hospitals and Diagnostic
& Treatment Centers