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
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
For more information about the CARE bill and to read the latest news,
visit ASRT's Web site at www.asrt.org.
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