By Hazel Hacker, FAHRA
December 2011—AHRA organizational liaisons represent AHRA on occasions involving communication with related organizations. Liaisons attend meetings and provide reports to the AHRA board of directors. As the liaison for the Alliance for Quality Medical Imaging and Radiation (Alliance), I attended a telephone conference regarding the CARE bill in August and summarized my findings here. The Alliance is a coalition of 25 health care organizations dedicated to the provision of safe, high quality medical imaging and radiation therapy. It works with federal lawmakers and the Department of Health and Human Services in developing regulations and standards to ensure patient safety, personnel competency and exam quality.
The Alliance conference call served to review the CARE bill draft with the objective of preparing the bill for submission to the House of Representatives. Previously, the Senate had indicated that they don’t want to change the bill – they liked it as is and didn’t see a need to change it. They further indicated it would be easier to educate a few new members of Congress on the previous bill rather than educate all members on why the bill is different (albeit the changes are primarily cosmetic); however, they have said they understand the need for the “window dressing” in the House. The Alliance will proceed with making adjustments to the bill before submitting it to the House.
The House representatives involved with the bill were also discussed. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY-1) introduced the bill to the House in June. He is a senior member, #4 on the House Energy & Commerce Committee and #3 on the Health Subcommittee. He is an ideal sponsor for this bill with Rep. John Barrow (D-GA-12) as the lead Democrat.
Two next steps were discussed during the meeting. First, ASRT and SNM-TS will be making joint visits on Capitol Hill as often as possible to endorse the unity of the Alliance. Second, the suggested corrections that were discussed will be made for the House bill and submitted to the Alliance for review.
An on-site meeting was held at the RSNA in Chicago to follow up on the progress of the bill; the details of that report will be published in a future issue of Link. Stay tuned for more updates on the Alliance’s work on the CARE bill.
Hazel Hacker is the business manager at Edison Imaging Associates P.A. in Edison, NJ. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.