September 29, 2009 - The Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) is calling on Congress to support the Consistency, Accuracy, Responsibility and Excellence in Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Act (CARE bill), which would ensure that states set minimum education and credentialing standards for nuclear medicine technologists. The bill (H.R. 3652) was introduced Sept. 28 in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.).
"The introduction of the CARE bill is excellent news," said Cybil Nielsen, MBA, CNMT, president of SNM's Technologists Section (SNMTS). "We have been working with many partners over the past several years to ensure that minimum standards are set across states for nuclear medicine technologists. We call on Congress to support this critical legislation."
The CARE bill would set certification standards in the Medicare program for any personnel providing, planning and delivering all medical imaging examinations and radiation therapy. Ensuring that nuclear medicine technologists performing scans are certified by their states will increase the safety and accuracy of medical examinations and radiation therapy procedures and, in turn, the quality and value of care for patients. More than 16 million nuclear medicine scans are performed each year in the U.S.
"Patient safety is the highest priority for our patients," said Michael Graham, MD, PhD, president of SNM. "This is a positive step toward ensuring that patients can rest assured that when they undergo a nuclear medicine procedure, it is being performed by a qualified expert who has undergone the necessary training."
Until now, there have been no uniform standards in place to ensure that those performing nuclear medicine scans are qualified.
"In many states, no credentials for those performing nuclear medicine scans are required," said Nielsen. "The CARE bill was created as a direct response to this concern to ensure that medical imaging is performed only by qualified technical personnel. The CARE bill reflects SNM's longstanding commitment to education for our members and quality care for the patients we serve."
For more information: www.snm.org