Second opinion encouraged after suburban mammogram clinic issues

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If you received a mammogram at Hope Imaging, also known as Hoffman Imaging and Medical Center, on or after Oct. 17, 2019, state officials say you need to get a second opinion. 

In the fight against breast cancer, mammograms are a critical tool. But officials at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), which certifies mammography facilities, have issued a public notice to patients due to the poor quality of images from Hope Imaging, located on Higgins Road in Hoffman Estates. 

In August of 2020, the IEMA issued an emergency order for Hoffman Imaging to cease operations pending accreditation.

The declaration came after the American College of Radiology conducted a mammography review of clinical images obtained from Oct. 2019 through July 2020, which revealed 16 of 30 cases did not meet imaging criteria and the practice posed a “serious risk to human health.”

Despite the order, state officials say the facility, under a new name and ownership, continued to perform mammograms. About 100 patients were imaged between December 2020 and March of this year. A second emergency order was issued to Hoffman MRI Inc. to cease operations.

“What we’ve witnessed is people come for their appointments and they knock on the door and there’s no one there,” said Diane Werner, who works at the travel agency next door. 

“It’s a large amount of money to get CT scans, mammograms, x-rays, and if they have paid for that, relied upon that information and the information isn’t trustworthy, that can be very, very sad and devastating,” Werner added.

It’s not the first time there’s been trouble at the facility. 

In May, 41-year-old Omayr Niazi, who was previously listed as Vice President of Hope Imaging, was charged with aggravated battery, forgery and wire fraud after a female patient who went in for a CT scan in November raised concerns about his qualification. Investigators say they learned he was not trained or certified to perform CT scans and submitted false credentials and unauthorized reimbursement claims to insurance companies.

WGN reached out to officials within the Hope Imaging facility for comment. Our requests were not immediately returned.

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