The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance lauded a Senate Finance Committee decision to remove Medicare reimbursements cuts for imaging from trade bills containing the Trade Adjustment Assistance extension program.
MITA has been vocal about the dangers of cutting imaging funds, which Congress has considered as a measure to provide funding for the displaced worker retraining program that’s packaged with trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.
The program is expected to cost about $7.2 billion over 10 years, if renewed at 2009 levels.
“Asking senior citizens to compromise their health care and ability to access early detection to pay for deals made on free trade agreements is simply wrong,” said Dave Fisher, executive director of MITA, in a statement. “Congress and Medicare have cut imaging reimbursements five times in five years and today spending on medical imaging in Medicare is below 2006 levels. Enough is enough.”
Congress wiped out language cutting imaging funds from the trade agreement today, garnering praise from MITA.
"The Senate Finance Committee’s decision to remove dramatic Medicare cuts for imaging from the trade bill is good news for those concerned with access to early diagnosis and disease detection," Fisher said in statement issued today. "Determining the right reimbursement rate for necessary medical procedures is about health care quality, physician-developed appropriateness criteria and accreditation, not arbitrary Medicare cuts for imaging services. Programs to implement the use of appropriateness criteria and accreditation programs are being implemented by Medicare right now and should be allowed to work."