The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) held its first Virtual Hill Day at ACR 2021. More than 350 radiology advocates participated in 248 congressional meetings, 54 of which were attended by a member of the U.S. House of Representatives or Senate. ACR members were asked to discuss several issues relevant to radiology, patient care and physician well-being, including:
• Mitigation of impending 2022 Medicare evaluation and management pay cuts — Participants urged lawmakers to provide additional financial stability in 2022 to ensure physician and non-physician providers can maintain seniors’ access to care.
• Addition of technical corrections to the imaging section of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) of 2014 — Participants explained ACR-proposed technical corrections to PAMA to avoid further Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services delays in the implementation of mandatory consultation of advanced imaging appropriate utilization criteria by ordering physicians.
• Co-sponsorship of the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act (S.610/H.R. 1667) — Participants told lawmakers that their co-sponsorship and passage of S.610/H.R. 1667 would ensure clinicians are able to seek mental health treatment and services without fear of professional setback.
To amplify ACR Virtual Hill Day advocates’ messages, an electronic Call to Action (CTA) was sent to ACR members who did not participate in the virtual Hill Day. As a result, the CTA generated more than 450 communications to lawmakers that detailed the need to address the College’s legislative concerns.
Reports from those attending virtual meetings were encouraging, with most sharing that congressional members and their staff were engaged and interested in the issues presented. In response to the one tangible request made of lawmakers — co-sponsorship of the Lorna Breen bill — early analysis indicates:
• Three senators added their name as co-sponsors to S.610: Boozman (R-AR), Brown (D-OH) and Marshall, MD (R-KS).
• 34 House members added their name as co-sponsor to H.R. 1667: Auchincloss (D-MA-4), Axne (D-IA-3), Bera (D-CA-7), Bishop (D-GA-2), Bucshon (R-IN-8), Carbajal (D-CA-24), Carson (D-IN-7), Cohen (D-TN-9), Connolly (D-VA-11), Davis (R-IL-13), DeFazio (D-OR-4), DelBene (D-WA-1), DeSaulnier (D-CA-11), Grijalva (D-AZ-3), Hill (R-AR-2), Norton (D-DC-At Large), Lynch (D-MA-8), Malinowski (D-NJ-7), Manning (D-NC-6), McCollum (D-MN-4), O'Halleran (D-AZ-1), Omar (D-MN-5), Pingree (D-ME-1), Pocan (D-WI-2), Raskin (D-MD-8), Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40), Rush (D-IL-1), Schakowsky (D-IL-9), Schrier (D-WA-8), Sewell (D-AL-7), Strickland (D-WA-10), Trone (D-MD-6), Watson Coleman (D-NJ-12), and Yarmuth (D-KY-3).
The ACR Government Relations Commission and staff thank all who participated in Hill Day and those who responded to the CTA. Together, ACR members made quite an impact.