September 29-30, 2014 - Washington, D.C.
For the second time, SNMMI will hold a patient-focused hill day to bring patient advocates to the hill to talk to their Senate and House representatives about how imaging made a difference in their lives.
In 2013, SNMMI’s Patient Advocacy Advisory Board (PAAB) held their first patient-focused Hill Day in Washington, D.C. Despite the government shutdown, which closed many congressional offices, the PAAB successfully met with 13 offices from nine states:
The advocates shared their life experiences and touched on SNMMI's key issues for 2013:
- Continued Funding from the Department of Energy (DOE): For nearly 60 years, the DOE has funded essential, fundamental nuclear medicine research in the areas of biomedical imaging and radiotherapy that has facilitated technological breakthroughs. Only the federal government funds basic nuclear medicine research, so this DOE program is critical for training and education. Currently, the Senate has appropriated $5 million for nuclear medicine research with human application while no funding was provided in the House bill.
- Preventing Cuts to Medical Imaging: Since 2006, Medicare reimbursement for medical imaging procedures has been cut 13 times. These cuts have delayed possible innovation in medical imaging which negatively affects patients who are then denied proper care. Additionally, these cuts have caused physicians to delay updating their equipment. This could lead to patients being unable to get the most appropriate treatment. The current proposal to repeal the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate system will cost an estimated $175 billion, which will have to be paid for by cutting funds from other government budgets, most likely from within the health care system. We want to ensure that these cuts to not come from medical imaging.
The Patient Advocacy Advisory Board’s Patient Advocacy Day was a great success. Advocacy is an ongoing effort that is strengthened by the connections made between SNMMI members and their congressional representatives. We thank all those who took time out from busy schedules to participate.
For questions about the 2014 Patient Hill Day and how you can participate, please call Saima Hedrick at 703-742-5498, or email firstname.lastname@example.org