While only a few state legislatures remain in session in mid-October, the American College of Radiology® (ACR®) state government relations staff already is planning for 2022 and the challenges and opportunities of the upcoming election year. Recent legislative areas of interest to the ACR include scope of practice for non-physician personnel, out of network billing, price transparency, physician reimbursement, teleradiology, state licensure and medical liability reform.
In 2022, 46 state legislatures will meet, many without bills carried over from previous legislative sessions. In the states that do not carry over bills from one legislative session to the next, new bills would have to be introduced in 2022. Legislatures in Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas will not meet in 2022; they are required by their state constitutions to not meet in even numbered years.
Pre-filing soon will begin in a few states that allow the practice in November. More states will come on board in December and January to meet their stipulated pre-filing deadlines.
In 2021, ACR state government affairs tracked nearly 600 state bills related to radiology; we expect a similar number in 2022. A searchable website, maintained by Congress.gov, offers a convenient way to track individual legislative proposals by state, topic, bill number and other variables.
The ACR created a microsite this year dedicated to scope of practice issue to help members keep abreast of state bills introduced across the country. In addition, the ACR created a Scope of Practice Fund in 2021 to help state chapters combat bills that threaten access to quality patient care. State chapters have until Oct. 31 to submit an application to the Scope of Practice Fund.
The ACR has a new tool available to assist the 46 states and territories that will convene their legislatures in 2022 — geographically targeted Call-To-Action Alerts (CTAs). Alerts now can be customized to target specific committees or state legislators in specific districts. Factual accuracy and proper coordination with local efforts are of utmost importance when planning such initiatives. Requests for targeted CTAs must be vetted and endorsed by state radiological societies. For more information about targeted CTAs, email Melody Ballesteros.