The congressional members and their staff members walked through the main radiology core work areas, interventional radiology facilities, some of the reading rooms, as well as the Breast Imaging Center. Throughout the tour, the visitors had the opportunities to learn about some basic knowledge of radiology and its critical roles in patient care.
Important policy issues were also briefly discussed during the visit. These include the irrationality of the lately suggested further Medicare reimbursement cut of advance imaging based on the assumption of up to 75% utilization rate (H.R. 3962, H.R. 3590) from current 50% utilization rate.
In addition, the visitors' special concerns regarding recent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (SPSTF) Mammography recommendations were also addressed. From real examples demonstrated by expert breast imagers at the Breast Imaging Center, it was clear to the visitors that such recommendations ignored existing scientific data and placed many women at risk of unnecessary deaths from a disease we have made significant advancements over the past 20 years.
Overall, this meeting between the congressional members and the radiologists marks the UCLA radiology department's initial step toward establishing a possible long-term relationship with the policy makers. For interested readers, additional information on ACR government relations can be found on their website: www.acr.org