States Consider Changes to X-Ray System Regulation
Senate Bill 1181 (An Act to Create a CT Task Force) received a hearing before the Joint Committee on Public Health on Oct. 24. The legislation, sponsored by Assistant State Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Creem, would establish a special task force to investigate the optimal and safe use of computed tomography (CT).
The task force would make recommendations on optimal CT scan dosages for diagnostic procedures, including dose frequency and distribution. Data for these recommendations would be drawn from the state public health department’s radiation control program. The task force would provide guidance on radiation dose optimization and would design a mandatory education curriculum on CT scan practices for appropriate staff at Massachusetts health care facilities. It would be charged with evaluating certification and/or licensure requirements for medical professionals (including dosimetrists, medical physicists and radiation therapists) whose responsibilities include CT scans. It would also make recommendations on radiation control program oversight. If SB 1181 is adopted, the special task force would be required to submit a report covering its findings, recommendations and proposals by Dec. 31, 2018.
The Department of Health and Human Services has proposed changes to CT X-ray guidelines. The proposed rule seeks to ensure high quality CT imaging that is appropriate with respect to recommendations from professional bodies, such as the American College of Radiology (ACR®), and is compatible with the Food and Drug Administration's Code of Federal Regulations found in 21 CFR. Current applicable provisions in the rules at 10A NCAC 15, Radiation Protection, are not specific to CT equipment operation. The proposed rule would implement quality assurance and training requirements that many facilities in North Carolina already employ. It would simplify regulatory compliance and reduce hazards associated with both accredited and non-accredited CT scanners.
The Texas Department of Insurance has proposed amendments to the state insurance code to reflect changes to statutes earlier this year. The amendments address changes to required notice of claims dispute resolution, mediation processes and complaint resolution and outreach.
Section 1467.003 requires the insurance commissioner, the Texas Medical Board, the chief administrative law judge and appropriate regulatory agencies to adopt rules to implement their respective powers and duties under Chapter 1467. Section 1467.051 sets out the availability of mandatory mediation under Chapter 1467.
Section 1467.0511 provides for notices to enrollees of the mediation process by facility-based providers, emergency care providers insurers and administrators. It encourages them to provide information when contacted by enrollees about medical bills that may be eligible for mediation.
Section 1467.054 sets out the procedure for requesting mediation and preliminary procedures for that mediation. It also provides that a request for mandatory mediation must be provided to the department on a form prescribed by the commissioner.
The Department of Health Office of Radiation Protection has initiated rulemaking to consider revising the fee structure for X-ray machine registration in WAC 246-254-053. The department is considering changing the rule language to allow it to remove the current flat fee exception in favor of charging a fee per tube for every X-ray machine. The department wants to clarify the definition of “facility” and add a definition for “contiguous” in WAC 246-224-0010 and WAC 246-254-010 to support assessment of the facility-based fee. It also proposes changing WAC 246-224-0040 to simplify and explain facility and machine registration.