U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, (KY-01), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, today announced that he has introduced the Consistency, Accuracy, Responsibility and Excellence (CARE) in Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Act of 2013. This bill establishes certification standards for non-physician technical personnel performing medical imaging and radiation therapy.
"By setting minimum education and certification standards for the technical personnel involved in radiation procedures, Congress can assure patients that imaging and therapy personnel are qualified while also being responsible with taxpayer dollars," stated Whitfield. "I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this legislation that would protect consumers by reducing errors leading to inaccurate diagnoses and treatments, which in some instances have caused serious harm."
Whitfield believes that these improvements are needed to increase quality of care and patient safety for Medicare patients. According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, more than 300 million imaging procedures are performed each year. Poor quality images can lead to misdiagnosis, additional testing, delays in treatment and needless anxiety for the patient. They also cost the United States health care system millions of dollars annually in needless medical bills.
The CARE Act requires that the staff of facilities and practices seeking Medicare reimbursement for the technical component of medical imaging examinations and radiation therapy treatments meet minimum standards before payment is made.