April 23, 2021

Waking Up to a Modern Pandemic: Collaboration Despite Crisis

By Christopher R. McAdams, MD, breast imager and emergency radiologist, member of the ACR YPS and current RADPAC® board member practicing in Atlanta

The last year has yielded trying times, both personally and professionally, for our patients and ourselves as physicians — not the least of which concern has been COVID-19. While COVID-19 continues to impact each of us, our patients and communities have learned and admirably continued to care for one another in a complex and rapidly evolving practice environment and politico-economic system.

Individually, I have taken great satisfaction in campaigning and voting in this past presidential election season (from my battleground state of Georgia!), had virtual visits with my local-elected Congress members (rather than our traditional face-to-face) and contributed to my state radiological society as co-chair of the Diversity Committee. However, my new pandemic perspective has also bolstered my commitment and engagement with ACRA® RADPAC. Organized group efforts via RADPAC, in concert with the ACR Government Relations and Economics teams, continue to sustain both an active presence and real-time voice for radiology on Capitol Hill (albeit virtually in our new era).

Despite presidential and congressional transitions, long-standing issues in healthcare affecting patients, including health equity, access to screening imaging exams and fair medical billing have not been eradicated during our days of quarantine and rounds of vaccinations.

RADPAC serves as the political voice of radiology, nuclear medicine, radiation oncology and medical physics on Capitol Hill by educating lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle. The fruits of such an approach are exemplified by the bipartisan Congressional passing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. This omnibus bill rolled back the anticipated Medicare-provider payment cuts by more than half, ensured that patients are held “harmless” from surprise gaps in medical coverage and continues to ensure that women ages 40 and older undergoing screening mammography will retain coverage without copay (amongst several other physician- and ACR-led legislative priorities).

Without our continued support, these and future victories are not likely especially in these trying and turbulent times. Consider learning more about RADPAC by contacting me directly or visiting the links provided below. I look forward to “seeing” each of you virtually at this year’s ACR Annual Meeting and RADPAC Gala!