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Q: A friend of mine gets her annual mammogram at Maui Memorial hospital. I didn't know they offered services to people who are not patients in the hospital. Do you need a referral from a doctor in the hospital? I work right down the street and it would be so convenient for me to get a mammogram there.

No, you don't need a referral from a Maui Memorial Medical Center physician to get a mammogram here. In fact, the federal law called Mammography Quality Standards Act says that any woman who wants to be screened for breast cancer can self-refer. That means you don't need any physicians' referral to get a mammogram. You can call Maui Memorial Medical Center's Imaging Department directly at 808.243.3012 and make an appointment. The receptionist will ask you for the name of your primary care physician that will be receiving your screening results.

Maui Memorial Medical Center Imaging Department accepts all forms of insurance, except Kaiser. Kaiser patients who inquire about a mammogram will be referred to a Kaiser Maui clinic.

For those women who do not have insurance, we may still be able to help. If you would like to self-refer for a mammogram but don't have insurance, our Maui Health Foundation may be able to help pay for your screening mammogram through Malama I Ke Ola Health Center. If you are interested in learning more, or to make an appointment, call the health center at 808.871.7772.

Research shows that early detection saves lives! When you catch and treat breast cancer early, you have a higher likelihood of going into remission and curing it. There are many imaging labs around the island, including Maui Memorial, that can accommodate your scheduling needs. So, don't let insurance or the "busy-ness" of life be an excuse for not getting a mammogram!