News | May 22, 2012

Capitol Hill Briefing Focuses on Medical Imaging, Radiation Therapy Personnel Standards

Bill sets standards for personnel performing medical imaging, radiation therapy procedures

May 22, 2012 - The American Society of Radiologic Technologists hosted a Capitol Hill briefing on May 17 to educate lawmakers and their staffs about the role of the diagnostic imaging team and the Consistency, Accuracy, Responsibility and Excellence (CARE) in Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy bill, H.R. 2104.

Sponsored by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., and Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga., the briefing featured speakers from the ASRT, American College of Radiology, Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance and the Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM). The speakers described the roles of each member of the diagnostic imaging team and explained how the CARE bill will help improve the quality of diagnostic images, resulting in better patient care and reduced Medicare costs.

The CARE bill, supported by 35 health care organizations, would set federal education and certification standards in the Medicare program for the technical personnel providing, planning and delivering medical imaging and radiation therapy treatments. Rep. Whitfield introduced H.R. 2104 in the House of Representatives in June 2011, and it currently has 117 cosponsors.

ASRT President Dawn McNeil, M.S.M., R.T.(R)(M), RDMS, RVT, CRA, spoke on behalf of ASRT and described radiologic technologists’ key role on the diagnostic imaging team. She also provided information about the scope of the CARE bill and expressed why it’s an important measure for patients and radiologic technologists.

“Patients rely on medical imaging procedures for diagnosis, treatment and cure. When performed by skilled and competent professionals working as a team, these exams can be the difference between the correct diagnosis and the incorrect one,” McNeil said in her remarks. “Only qualified personnel should be allowed to perform medical imaging exams, and the CARE bill will ensure a minimum level of education, knowledge and skill for those who perform medical imaging,” she added.

Representatives from the ACR and MITA also backed the CARE bill in their remarks and offered insight into how the bill will improve the quality of medical images, enhance patient care and save money.

“There’s a tremendous amount of support for the CARE bill in the radiologic science community and in the general public, so we’re all diligently working with lawmakers to garner support for the bill,” said ASRT Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy Christine J. Lung, CAE.

The briefing also was an opportunity for four of the world’s largest radiology and radiologic science organizations to join forces and show their support for the bill. “The combined efforts of the group are a testament to the community’s commitment to improve medical imaging at all levels,” said Lung. “All of us want to reduce the number of repeated medical imaging examinations and improve patient care, so it’s important for all of us to be on the same page and work together as a cohesive team.”

For more information about ASRT or the radiologic sciences, visit www.asrt.org.

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