July 17, 2006—On July 18 at 10 am EST, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hear testimony from imaging professionals and others in support of HR 5704, the Access to Medicare Imaging Act.

HR 5704 calls for a budget-neutral 2-year moratorium on the Medicare imaging cuts prescribed by the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005, pending a Government Accountability Office study. The DRA cuts were approved without the usual hearings and evaluation, and would decrease reimbursement to imaging professionals by $2.8 billion by 2011.

Rep Joseph R. Pitts (R-Pa), who introduced HR 5704 on June 30, said, “A delay in the implementation of these cuts is essential in order to give Congress a chance to fully understand how cuts of this magnitude could affect Medicare beneficiaries’ access to imaging services.”

The chair of the American College of Radiology (ACR) Board of Chancellors, Arl Van Moore Jr, MD, FACR, is scheduled to testify.

A link to the Webcast of “Use of Imaging Services: Providing Appropriate Care for Medicare Beneficiaries” will be available online at 9:50 am EST. Real Player is required to view the broadcast.

—Cat Vasko