June 8, 2011 – Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., has introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that will set federal minimum education and certification standards in the Medicare program for the technical personnel providing, planning and delivering all medical imaging examinations and radiation therapy treatments.
The Consistency, Accuracy, Responsibility and Excellence (CARE) in Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy bill (H.R. 2104) was introduced on June 2 with 18 cosponsors in addition to the bill's chief sponsor, Rep. Whitfield. The bill was immediately referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and House Committee on Ways and Means for review.
The CARE bill was initiated by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists and the Alliance for Quality Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy. The Alliance consists of 26 radiologic science organizations that support federal minimum education and certification standards for all medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals.
Currently, six states have no method of regulating individuals who perform any type of medical imaging or radiation therapy. Those six states are Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Missouri, North Carolina and South Dakota. In addition, Washington, D.C., does not have any personnel regulations.
According to ASRT President James Temme, M.P.A., R.T.(R)(QM), FASRT, all signs look positive for the CARE bill in 2011: "The national spotlight is on medical imaging and radiation therapy, and support for the CARE bill is at an all time high. Health care professionals and organizations continue to back the bill because they understand that education and certification standards will lead to better patient care and improved safety measures."
ASRT launched its efforts in 1998 when it committed to advocating for legislation to amend the voluntary Consumer-Patient Radiation Health and Safety Act of 1981 to require technical personnel performing medical imaging and radiation therapy procedures to meet mandatory federal education and certification standards.
The CARE bill also is backed by several national organizations, including the International Fraternal Order of Eagles, an 850,000-member organization that focuses its efforts on fundraising and supporting causes that help make communities healthier, happier and more prosperous.
"There is a lot of momentum behind the CARE bill right now with the combined efforts of the ASRT, the Alliance, national organizations and patients demanding top-notch health care," said Temme. "We are energized by the support and will continue to push for the bill's passage."
The complete list of bill cosponsors is listed below:
Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Calif.
Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga.
Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill.
Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa
Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky. (sponsor)
Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky.
Rep. Dale Kildee, D-Mich.
Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss.
Rep. Lance Leonard, R-N.J.
Rep. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.
Rep. Walter Jones Jr., R-N.C.
Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C.
Rep. Sue Wilkins Myrick, R-N.C.
Rep. John Duncan Jr., R-Tenn.
Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn.
Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas
Rep. Gerald "Gerry" Connolly, D-Va.
Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis.
For more information: www.asrt.org