HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Women across central Virginia worried about the mammograms done by a Henrico doctor whose license is now suspended. Moments after our stories aired on Monday, the emails, calls and Facebook messages started pouring into our newsroom. We will tackle a few of the questions you’ve asked.
The Virginia Board of Medicine has suspended the license of Dr. Michael John Bigg, the owner of the Allison Breast Center. In a 64 page report, the board accuses Dr. Bigg of misreading the mammograms of at least 18 women, telling them they were fine when they really had cancer.
According to the board’s report, the center was seeing anywhere from 50-70 patients a day. So, the phone lines, fax and emails are being flooded with requests right now.
“Pursuant to Virginia code, anyone who is a patient of a physician-hospital or health care provider is entitled to receive a copy of their records,” said Stephanie Grana. She’s a local attorney handling a civil suit against Dr. Bigg. She’s also trying to help people get their records.
She says it may be frustrating, but you have to keep trying and you have to be patient. If you can, have your new mammogram center or your OBGYN request the records for you. Email requests here: email@example.com or send a fax to 804-285-3245. Here’s another email you can try: firstname.lastname@example.org We are also hearing from a few women who had luck mailing in an official medical release form to the Allison Breast Center office. Records were then released to the new facility administering breast exams. So, also try to mail your request.
Grana says if you were a patient and ever diagnosed with late-stage cancer - you need to investigate with the help of your doctors.
“If you’re a woman that’s had a history of breast cancer and you think it was a late diagnosis, you may be one of the women the Board of Medicine needs to hear from,” said Grana.
Many of you have written to NBC12 worried about the mammograms you had performed at Allison Breast Center in the last year. Most insurance companies only cover one mammogram a year. Grana says you will need to work with your OBGYN or primary care physician if you need another mammogram this year. She says work with your insurance company and give it a copy of the medical board report.
“That’s needed so you can convince the insurance company it may not only be in your best interest, but the financial best interest of the insurance company to have that mammogram redone because we all know the earlier the diagnosis the better the prognosis,” said Grana.
You can find the medical board report online at the Virginia Department of Health Professions. It’s public record.
Doctor Bigg has denied the allegations in a civil lawsuit and his attorneys said in a statement that the practice is working to respond to requests for records and imaging in a timely manner that complies with state and federal privacy requirements.
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