Clinton co-sponsors DRA imaging cut moratorium

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The ACR reported that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) has signed on as a co-sponsor to the Access to Medicare Imaging Act of 2007 (S.1338).

The bill, introduced by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR), has garnered the support of 28 senators. The House companion bill, H.R. 1293, introduced by Representatives Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Joe Pitts (R-PA), now has 156 co-sponsors representing over one-third of the House, according to ACR.

The ACR said that Senator Clinton’s co-sponsorship of S.1338 is a show of support for a moratorium on the severe cuts to medical imaging reimbursement contained in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA). The cuts, which reduced reimbursement for particular imaging services by up to 50 percent, have been in effect since January.

The organization noted that although strong support for a DRA moratorium is still mounting, a new threat has emerged in the form of more cuts to medical imaging reimbursement in the recently passed Children’s Health and Medicare Protection (CHAMP) Act in the House.

The CHAMP Act reauthorizes the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and staves off projected physician payment cuts in 2008 and 2009, but also contains a physician payment reform policy, as well as adjustments to the practice expense formula that will result in further cuts to imaging. The Senate’s SCHIP legislation contains no Medicare provisions, and the two bodies must reconcile their positions before moving forward, according to the ACR.