Congresswoman Wilson Reintroduces Consumer Assurance of Radiologic Excellence (CARE) Bill

Mar 13, 2003, 00:00 ET from American Society of Radiologic Technologists

    WASHINGTON, March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Congresswoman Heather Wilson, R-N.M.,
 Tuesday reintroduced the Consumer Assurance of Radiologic Excellence (CARE)
 bill, H.R. 1214, designed to ensure that the health professionals who perform
 radiologic procedures are properly qualified.
     "The CARE bill is important patient care legislation.  Each year, more
 than 300 million medical imaging examinations and radiation therapy treatments
 are performed in the United States.  Unfortunately, many of these procedures
 are performed by personnel who are not adequately trained or credentialed,"
 Rep. Wilson said.  "Only 36 states license medical imaging personnel today,
 and those laws vary widely in effectiveness.  In the other 14 states and the
 District of Columbia, individuals are allowed to perform medical imaging and
 radiation therapy procedures following only a few weeks of training.  This
 places patients in jeopardy."
     Recent Congressional attention to health care issues such as the quality
 of care, patient safety and Medicare reform, demonstrates the importance of
 the CARE bill, said Christine Lung, government relations director for the
 American Society of Radiologic Technologists, a leading supporter of the bill.
 The ASRT has more than 100,000 members nationwide.  "This legislation would
 ensure high quality radiologic patient care, improve the safety of medical
 imaging and radiation therapy procedures and reduce health care costs," said
 Ms. Lung.
     The CARE bill will direct the Department of Health and Human Services to
 establish educational and credentialing standards for personnel who plan and
 deliver radiation therapy and perform diagnostic imaging procedures except
 medical ultrasound.  Under the proposed legislation, states would be required
 to meet the federal minimum standards or risk losing federal reimbursement for
 radiologic procedures.
     Rep. Wilson, who introduced the bill in 2001 as H.R. 1011, had the
 bipartisan support of 54 sponsors before the close of the 107th Congress.
 Prior to Rep. Wilson, Rep. Rick Lazio, R-N.Y, introduced the CARE bill in the
 106th session of Congress.
     The CARE bill is backed by the Alliance for Quality Medical Imaging and
 Radiation Therapy, a coalition of radiologic science organizations that
 represents more than 250,000 health care professionals.

SOURCE American Society of Radiologic Technologists