RadCARE Bill Introduced In The Senate

February 23, 2006

RadCARE Bill Introduced In The Senate

The Society of Nuclear Medicine Technologist Section is pleased to announce that the RadCARE Bill was reintroduced in the Senate on February 17, 2006 by Senator Mike Enzi, Republican from Wyoming and Senator Ted Kennedy, Democrat from Massachusetts. Senator Enzi chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Senator Kennedy is the Minority Leader on the HELP Committee, the committee of jurisdiction. The RadCARE bill, S2322, is a companion bill to HR 1426, the House version of the CARE bill.

The Society of Nuclear Medicine Technologist Section joined forces with the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) in 1998 to co-found the Alliance of Quality Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy, known today as the Alliance. This coalition is made up of representatives of 18 professional associations, representing well over 350,000 professionals within Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy. The primary focus of this alliance is to promote minimum education and credentialing standards for medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals, through developing draft consensus language (standards) that will be submitted to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This draft language will be considered by HHS officials and will likely become the bones of the regulatory language to be enacted once the CARE Bills are passed into law.

The ASRT has spearheaded these monumental congressional efforts by sponsoring two primary initiatives:

  1. The annual Alliance meetings bringing together these 18 organizations to formalize this draft language
  2. RT in DC, the ASRT organized Capital Hill Event, which brings together 150 medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals to learn about advocacy and meet with elected officials on Capital Hill to educate them about the CARE/RadCARE legislation.

This announcement could not have happened at a more appropriate time, as next week the Alliance is meeting in Washington, DC and the RT in DC event will be held in several weeks. The SNMTS is proud to participate in these events and collaborate with the ASRT and these other professional organizations, certification boards, and accreditation bodies in establishing such fundamentally essential standards that will have an impact on medical imaging for years to come.

Many of the current practice issues facing nuclear medicine and radiology today can be alleviated or at least cushioned with the establishment of national standards to govern the education and training of those that work in medical imaging. As the modalities blend and multi-modality imaging continues to evolve, these practice issues are magnified, such as the access issues posed by who can operate CT equipment in states with regulation or licensure for radiographers but no standards for NMTs.

SNM and SNMTS members can track S.2322 and HR.1426 online at http://capwiz.com/snm/issues/.