February 15, 2024

Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing on Use of AI in Healthcare

The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance held a hearing Feb. 8 considering the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare, its promise and pitfalls. The hearing included a panel of witnesses that provided academic, clinical and industry perspectives.

The hearing focused on potential clinical and nonclinical applications of AI in healthcare and the possibility that it could help reduce costs and improve patient outcomes. Some senators expressed concern that AI could widen disparities for underserved populations and lead to increased coverage denials. Other themes included the importance of addressing potential bias in AI and the need to ensure safeguards in the technology to ensure performance, transparency, security and privacy.  

One witness recommended establishing a new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) payment mechanism for certain types of AI-enabled device software functions, including quantitative imaging tools. Another witness advocated for infrastructure investments in technical assistance, technology, and training, similar to past government investments in electronic health records. Additionally, witnesses called for further guidance from CMS on meaningful oversight by human experts of AI used in prior authorization and other decisions by Medicare Advantage plans. 

The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) and the ACR Data Science Institute® work with federal policymakers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and others, to ensure access to safe and effective radiology AI innovations. The College supports Congress taking an interest in issues related to the application of AI and looks forward to collaborating on policy solutions.

For more information, contact Michael Peters, ACR Senior Government Affairs Director.