House committee passes bill aimed at improving imaging quality

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On Wednesday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee approved a bill that seeks to assure the quality of imaging procedures to prevent unnecessary repeat exams. The bill targets the 4 percent to 7 percent of imaging exams that must be repeated because of improper positing or technique and seeks to remedy this situation by providing more oversight on the training and certification of radiologic technologists, among other things.

“The RadCARE bill will require national education standards for the professionals that perform medical imaging and radiation therapy to ensure that they are properly trained,” said Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), chair of the HELP committee, in a statement regarding the bill. He added that passing the bill could potentially “reduce costs and make radiologic care more affordable and accessible…”

Reducing the number of repeated exams by only 1 percent would save the government approximately $92 million annually, according to a release from Enzi’s office.

To accomplish this, the “Consumer Assurance of Radiologic Excellence Act” (S.2322) would task the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to do the following:
  • Work with experts to establish new standards for safety and accuracy of imaging study acquisition and radiation therapy treatments;
  • Require licensure of providers of technical services by each state; and
  • Certify certain entities as approved bodies of accreditation.