March 1, 2007—The 2007 version of the Access to Medicare Imaging Act, which would declare a two-year moratorium on the imaging cuts prescribed by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), was introduced in the House yesterday by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), with 25 cosponsors from both sides of the aisle.

The bill—which also calls for a comprehensive Government Accountability Office (GAO) study to analyze the impact of the DRA cuts on patient access, particularly in rural and medically underserved areas—is supported by the Access to Medical Imaging Coalition (AMIC), Fairfax, Va, a large organization formed by patient advocacy groups, medical manufacturers, and providers of imaging services. AMIC represents over 75,000 physicians, providers, patients and medical imaging manufacturers, who in turn employ tens of thousands of workers.

“Congress must put a halt to further payment cuts in medical imaging services for Medicare patients until the GAO can sort through just how this will affect Medicare patients’ access to these life-saving services,” McCarthy said. “Our legislation recognizes the importance of imaging services and puts the brakes on these cuts while the Federal government studies the real impact of this poorly conceived policy.”

—Cat Vasko