ASRT hosts Capitol Hill briefing to tout CARE bill

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Four major radiology and radiologic science organizations joined together to show their support for the Consistency, Accuracy, Responsibility and Excellence (CARE) in Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy bill during a Capitol Hill briefing, hosted by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), on May 17.

The bill, H.R. 2104, is sponsored by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) and Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.), and has gathered 117 cosponsors since being introduced by Whitfield in June 2011.

The CARE bill would set federal education and certification standards in the Medicare program for the technical personnel providing, planning and delivering medical imaging and radiation therapy treatments.

In addition to the ASRT, the briefing featured speakers from the American College of Radiology (ACR), Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) and the Society of Nuclear Medicine. The purpose of the briefing was to educate lawmakers and their staffs about the roles of each member of the diagnostic imaging team and explain how the CARE bill would improve the quality of diagnostic images, bolster patient care and reduce Medicare costs.

“Patients rely on medical imaging procedures for diagnosis, treatment and cure. When performed by skilled and competent professionals working as a team, these exams can be the difference between the correct diagnosis and the incorrect one,” said ASRT President Dawn McNeil, MSM, who spoke on behalf of ASRT. “Only qualified personnel should be allowed to perform medical imaging exams, and the CARE bill will ensure a minimum level of education, knowledge and skill for those who perform medical imaging,” she added.

Representatives from the ACR and MITA also backed the CARE bill in their remarks.