The ASRT announced today that the Consistency, Accuracy, Responsibility and Excellence in Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy bill, S. 3338, was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.
The CARE bill would ensure that basic minimum education and certification standards are established as part of the Medicare program for all medical imaging and radiation therapy personnel.
"This is a big step for the CARE bill, which would save the government money and ultimately improve the quality of patient care," said ASRT President Dawn McNeil, M.S.M., R.T.(R)(M), RDMS, RVT, CRA. "We are encouraged that Sens. Enzi and Harkin introduced the CARE bill, and we hope both the House and Senate will take action on the bill this congressional session."
Currently, basic educational standards for medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals are voluntary and inconsistent in many states, allowing some individuals to perform radiologic procedures without any formal education. Six states, along with the District of Columbia, are without any regulations regarding the qualifications of personnel performing medical imaging examinations.
In June 2011, the House CARE bill, H.R. 2104, was introduced by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., and now has more than 125 bipartisan cosponsors.
"ASRT members have worked tirelessly to educate their congressmen about the importance of education and certification standards in medical imaging and radiation therapy," said Christine J. Lung, CAE, ASRT's vice president of government relations and public policy. "The long-term efforts of so many dedicated radiologic technologists will finally pay off when the CARE bill legislation is enacted."
For more information about the CARE bill, visit www.asrt.org/CARE.