February 24, 2010 - The American College of Radiology Task Force on Radiation Dose in Medicine will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee on February 26 that ACR accreditation programs can help prevent adverse events related to radiation oncology procedures and CT scans.
The hearing stems from recent media reports regarding adverse events related to radiation oncology procedures and CT scans performed at various hospitals.
At the hearing, E. Stephen Amis, M.D., FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Task Force on Radiation Dose in Medicine will affirm that ACR accreditation of diagnostic modalities and the joint ACR/ASTRO accreditation program for radiation oncology facilities can significantly reduce the odds of such events and will call for mandatory accreditation of all advanced imaging and radiation oncology providers regardless of setting.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will require accreditation of all facilitates that bill for advanced imaging (MRI, CT, PET and nuclear medicine exams) under part B of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule effective Jan. 1, 2012. However, this requirement does not apply to hospital providers of these services and does not include radiation oncology.
Dr. Amis will stress that radiation oncology and medical imaging save and extend countless lives each year and represent critical advances in patient care. He will also relate that while the rare adverse events highlighted in recent media reports are unfortunate and require review to help ensure such mistakes are not repeated, the overwhelming majority of patients safely receive the correct care.
Dr. Amis will also emphasize that expanded use of ACR Appropriateness Criteria can help ensure that patients get appropriate care. He will also highlight the College’s efforts to reduce radiation dose from medical imaging and reinforce the need for substantive and standardized manufacturer education for radiation therapists and technologists who operate equipment.
He will also express ACR’s support of HR 3652, the Consistency, Accuracy, Responsibility and Excellence in Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy (CARE) Act. Introduced by Energy and Commerce Committee Member John Barrow (D-GA) and cosponsored by several of his colleagues on the Committee, the bill sets minimum federal standards for training and credentialing of radiation therapists, technicians, and other personnel who perform or plan the technical component of either medical imaging examinations or radiation therapy procedures.