Dear OSRT member,
We need your help in voicing opposition to Section 4003 in H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill currently being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives. The section includes a provision that reduces the technical component payment for any diagnostic x-ray exam performed using film-based radiography equipment. Section 4003 of the bill includes a "pay-for" measure intended to incentivize facility transition to digital radiography equipment. However, the bill doesn't require the individuals who will operate the digital equipment to meet any education or certification standards. By excluding personnel education and certification requirements, the bill ignores the fact that is imperative that only highly-qualified, registered radiologic technologists should operate digital radiography equipment.
As a result, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists opposes H.R. 6. For more than a decade, ASRT worked with legislators on Capitol Hill to establish minimum education and certification standards for personnel who perform medical imaging and radiation therapy procedures. Congress didn't take action on that common-sense legislation, yet lawmakers are now considering a measure to force facilities to use digital radiography equipment, but not include any educational requirements for the personnel who will administer the ionizing radiation during patient procedures.
We encourage you to contact your representative on Capitol Hill immediately to voice your opposition to H.R. 6. Tell your representative that Section 4003 of H.R. 6 will only result in nominal cost savings and will do nothing to improve patient safety or quality of care. Let them know that digital radiography uses ionizing radiation and, absent legislative language that requires the personnel operating the equipment to be registered radiologic technologists, Section 4003 should not be used as a pay-for to cover a very small portion of H.R. 6's total cost.
Talking points and information about H.R. 6 are available by clicking here. Please contact us if you have any questions about contacting your legislator. We can help. ASRT appreciates your quick response.
Sandra Hayden, M.A., R.T.(T), FASRT