Senators Enzi, Kennedy Introduce 2007 CARE Bill CARE Bill Sets Standards for Personnel Who Perform Medical Imaging Exams



    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2007 Consistency,
 Accuracy, Responsibility and Excellence in Medical Imaging and Radiation
 Therapy bill, or CARE bill, was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen.
 Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., and Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., on March 30.
     The bill is supported by the American Society of Radiologic
 Technologists, which represents more than 122,000 medical imaging and
 radiation therapy professionals. ASRT Director of Government Relations
 Christine Lung said she's very encouraged by the introduction of the bill
 this early in the session. "We weren't expecting the Senate to address the
 bill until after they returned from their Easter recess on April 16." She
 added, "We were so close to the bill's being passed during the last
 congressional session. I think this is our year."
     The CARE bill would require those who perform medical imaging and
 radiation therapy procedures to meet minimum federal education and
 credentialing standards in order to participate in federal health programs
 administered by the Department of Health and Human Services. These programs
 include Medicare and Medicaid. Under current law, basic training standards
 are voluntary in some states, allowing individuals to perform radiologic
 procedures without any formal education. Poor quality images can lead to
 misdiagnosis, additional testing, delays in treatment and anxiety in
 patients, costing the U.S. health care system millions of dollars each
 year.
     The Senate passed a version of this bill, the RadCARE bill, in December
 2006, but the congressional session ended before the House version of the
 bill could be brought up for a vote. In a March 29 letter, Sens. Enzi and
 Kennedy asked their colleagues in the Senate to join them in sponsoring the
 bill. Once the bill has enough cosponsors, it will go before the Senate's
 Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions for approval, then to
 the Senate floor for a vote. Sen. Kennedy is chairman of the HELP
 Committee, and Sen. Enzi is its ranking Republican. The committee will have
 jurisdiction over the CARE bill during hearings and mark-up.
     Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Penn., is sponsoring CARE Bill in the House of
 Representatives. Currently, 49 representatives are cosponsoring the bill in
 the House and 20 more are expected to sign on soon. Once the bill has 75
 cosponsors, Rep. Doyle will ask the chairman of the House's Subcommittee on
 Health, Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., to move the bill to the full Committee
 on Energy and Commerce.
     "ASRT members have worked diligently at the grass-roots level and
 through programs like the R.T. in D.C. lobbying event to educate their
 senators and congressmen on the need for education and credentialing
 standards in medical imaging and radiation therapy," Ms. Lung said. "It
 will be exciting to see the long-term efforts of so many dedicated
 radiologic technologists come to realization when the CARE legislation is
 enacted."
     For more information about the CARE bill and to read the latest news,
 visit ASRT's Web site at www.asrt.org.
     About ASRT
     The ASRT represents more than 122,000 members who perform medical
 imaging procedures or plan and deliver radiation therapy. The Society is
 the largest radiologic science association in the world. Its mission is to
 provide radiologic technologists with the knowledge, resources and support
 they need to improve patient care.
 
 

SOURCE American Society of Radiologic Technologists

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