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