Matthew Davenport, MD, FACR, Vice Chair of the American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Quality and Safety Commission, contributed this piece.
The ACR continues to work diligently to ensure radiologists and other healthcare providers can provide high-quality care to their patients during the ongoing iodinated contrast media shortage. The immediate focus has been on disseminating contrast media conservation strategies; communicating to the general public about the extent and seriousness of the crisis (ie, over dozens of news articles, radio interviews, and television spots reaching more than 100 million people); and collaborating with government, industry, and payers to do all that can be appropriately done to alleviate the supply crisis and prevent future shortages.
In May 2022, the ACR Committee on Drugs and Contrast Media released a statement providing conservation considerations to the radiology community. This information has evolved over time with new updates and a dedicated resource center, including several peer-reviewed manuscripts addressing mitigation and utilization strategies. In addition, a collaboration with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies, including the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the Food and Drug Administration, shared conservation information with other contrast media consumers throughout the healthcare community.
Recently, the ACR and the Radiology Business Management Association sent letters to private insurers and radiology benefit management companies requesting changes in prior authorization procedures to allow for more flexibility. This resulted in a rapid response from certain insurers regarding temporary flexibilities.
Last week, GE Healthcare released a press statement announcing production should be close to 100% capacity beginning Monday, June 6. The manufacturer also indicated their intention to work with customers to plan out the next several weeks as product availability increases.
While we are optimistic the acute shortage will normalize with time, the ACR will consider longer-term approaches to promote supply chain sustainability and will continue to share the latest developments on acr.org.Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, and join the discussion on Engage (login required).