Representatives Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., Joseph Pitts, R-Pa., and Gene Green, D-Texas, were joined by 69 of their colleagues in urging Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to reject any additional cuts to Medicare medical imaging services.
“It is very encouraging to see the leadership from Reps. McCarthy, Pitts and Green and the support from so many members of Congress to preserve and protect Medicare beneficiary access to medical imaging services,” said Tim Trysla, executive director of the Access to Medical Imaging Coalition (AMIC), which represents more than 75,000 physicians and providers, as well as patient advocacy groups, in the United States.
“Medical imaging technologies like PET and CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, catch diseases early and, combined with other agents, treat them more precisely so that patients have dramatically better health outcomes,” said Andrew Whitman, vice president of the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance and a member of AMIC. “These cutting-edge medical imaging services go hand-in-hand with the latest preventive and targeted medical care – precisely the type of innovative care that Congress should be promoting, not cutting.”
Congress is currently negotiating a legislative package that could include large cuts to medical imaging services. Some proposals would make billions of dollars in cuts and reduce access to medical imaging technologies that are instrumental to diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and diabetes.
Access to medical imaging services was cut by $13 billion through the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005, which resulted in an 18 percent to 19 percent reduction in payments for imaging services provided in physician offices and outpatient imaging centers. DRA was implemented in January of this year.