At the 2017 ACR meeting in Washington, D.C., the SCRS delegation (including the Executive Council, Councilors, Alternate Councilors, and Resident/Fellows Section members) joined the ACR in the annual lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill.
Our delegation met with representatives from the offices of all SC Congressman and Senators on Wednesday May 24, 2017. This year, our efforts included gaining support for H.R. 1298, the CT Colonography (CTC) Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act of 2017. Commonly referred to as “virtual colonoscopy,” studies have proven that CTC is equally as effective and comparable in cost to optical colonoscopy. Inclusion of the minimally invasive CTC as a colorectal cancer screening test under Medicare could increase compliance rates among those eligible for the exam.
Also, Senators and Representatives were urged to preserve access to preventive screening as afforded by Section 2713 of PPACA (commonly referred to as Obamacare), which requires private insurance companies to provide screening services that are reviewed and approved by select federal agencies and advisory bodies. Radiologists play a key role in early disease detection, providing some of the most well-known preventive screening services, including mammograms for breast cancer, low dose CT (LDCT) lung cancer screens, and CT Colonography (CTC) for colon cancer. Under Section 2713 of PPACA, private insurance is required to provide these three imaging cancer screens without any form of patient cost-sharing.
Finally, the ACR has long advocated for strong funding of the NIH. Our ACR delegation urged Congress to reject proposed cuts to NIH and instead finalize a spending package with $34.1 billion for NIH, as approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee in June 2016, and continue this budget trajectory with a $2 billion increase over fiscal year 2017 for NIH in fiscal year 2018, in addition to funds included in the 21st Century Cures Act for targeted initiatives.
If you have any interest in helping the ACR and SCRS in these efforts, please plan on joining us at the SCRS annual meeting in Wild Dunes and at the ACR annual meeting in Washington, D.C. next year.