CARE Bill Introduced in 112th Congress

The American Society of Radiologic Technologists announced that the Consistency, Accuracy, Responsibility and Excellence (CARE) in Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy bill (H.R. 2104) was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky.

The CARE bill, which already has 18 cosponsors in addition to its chief sponsor, Rep. Whitfield, would set federal minimum education and certification standards in the Medicare program for the technical personnel providing, planning, and delivering all medical imaging examinations and radiation therapy treatments.

Following the introduction of the bill, it was immediately referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and House Committee on Ways and Means for review.

According to ASRT President James Temme, MPA, RT(R)(QM), FASRT, there are positive signs for the CARE bill in 2011: “The national spotlight is on medical imaging and radiation therapy, and support for the CARE bill is at an all time high. Health care professionals and organizations continue to back the bill because they understand that education and certification standards will lead to better patient care and improved safety measures.”

ASRT launched its efforts in 1998 when it committed to advocating for legislation to amend the voluntary Consumer-Patient Radiation Health and Safety Act of 1981 to require technical personnel performing medical imaging and radiation therapy procedures to meet mandatory federal education and certification standards. The initiative is now backed by 26 radiologic science organizations, which make up the Alliance for Quality Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy.

“There is a lot of momentum behind the CARE bill right now with the combined efforts of the ASRT, the Alliance, national organizations, and patients demanding top-notch health care,” said Temme. “We are energized by the support and will continue to push for the bill’s passage.”