June 07, 2018

Hill Day Radiologists Secure Support for Key Bills

More than 450 radiologists met with their members of Congress May 23 to recruit support for legislation that would require Medicare to cover CT colonography (CTC) and recognize radiologist assistants (RAs) as Medicare non-physician providers.

Conducted as part of the American College of Radiology (ACR)’s 2018 Annual Meeting Capitol Hill Day gave participants an opportunity to thank senators and congressional representatives who resisted calls from the Trump Administration to cut National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and instead voted to increase its Fiscal Year 2018 budget by $3 billion.

Lawmakers and staff responded well to the visits, which enabled radiologists and radiologists-in-training to recruit several new co-sponsors for HR 1298, the CT Colonography Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act and HR 1904/S. 769, the Medicare Access to Radiologic Care Act (MARCA).

If enacted, HR 1298 will require Medicare to cover CTC screening for colon cancer. Medicare now only covers CTC in the case of an incomplete optical colonoscopy. The ACR has long supported Medicare coverage for CTC and is committed to ensuring Medicare beneficiaries have access to this effective, non-invasive screening test.

The MARCA legislation seeks to amend the Medicare statute to recognize RAs as non-physician Medicare providers and to align Medicare reimbursement policy with state law. If adopted, this change will allow radiologists to devote more focused time reviewing and interpreting complex medical images.

ACR government relations staff members are reviewing attendee response forms from the visits to identify more senators and representatives willing to co-sponsor these two important legislative initiatives.

The ACR government relations staff extends its gratitude and appreciation to those who attended Capitol Hill Day and the great work that is helping move the College’s legislative agenda forward.