CARE bill seeks certification of radiologic technologists
The Consistency, Accuracy, Responsibility and Excellence (CARE) in Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy bill (HR 3652) was introduced in the House of Representatives on Sept. 25 by Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga. The bill seeks to set certification standards in the Medicare program for personnel providing, planning and delivering any medical imaging exam or radiation therapy.

“The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA), which passed in 2008, was a great first step toward ensuring that medical imaging is performed by qualified personnel,” said Diane Mayo, RT, president of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT).

MIPPA mandates that any facility performing CT, MRI, PET or nuclear medicine services for Medicare patients must be accredited by an organization that meets standards set by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in order to be eligible for the technical component of reimbursement. However, MIPPA only covers 30 percent of the medical imaging procedures completed in the United States.

“We believe that the CARE bill completes MIPPA’s goal of setting quality standards for all medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals,” said Christine J. Lung, vice president of government relations and public policy for the ASRT. “The CARE bill will cover the other 70 percent of medical imaging procedures conducted in the United States, which are x-ray, fluoroscopy and ultrasound. The bill would make sure they are performed by qualified and certified medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals.”