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Thirty-two states enacted breast density reporting legislation in the last eight years, but no such bills have been passed on a federal level. Could that soon change?

Temperatures are dropping and my front yard is covered in leaves, which means it’s almost time for another eventful RSNA annual meeting in Chicago. I’ve spent some with this year’s schedule and wanted to share five can’t-miss sessions.

Women should not stop undergoing regular mammography based on their age alone, according to a new analysis published by the American Journal of Roentgenology. The authors of the article explored both the benefits and the risks of screening mammography for women ages 75 years and older.

Physicians aren’t the only ones who might benefit from using lead shields to guard against radiation exposure during cardiac catheterization, a new study suggests.

The chair of the American College of Radiology (ACR) Board of Chancellors, James A. Brink, MD, spoke to the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Energy today in Washington, D.C. The subcommittee was there to discuss the United States Department of Energy’s funding of low-dose radiation research, and Brink told its members that such research was needed to improve patient care.

 

Recent Headlines

ACA repeal could reverse gains in screening

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) out-of-pocket provision for preventative care increased screening uptake, especially among lower-income patients, but the ACA’s impending repeal could undo those gains, according to industry experts.

Startup receives FDA approval for AI-assisted cardiac imaging

A wide array of automated MR segmentation techniques emerged in the new millennium, promising a new era of speed and accuracy. According to Arterys, a San Francisco-based startup promising to provide AI-driven cardiac segmentation, 2017 could represent yet another phase shift.

Dangers of medical imaging are exaggerated, according to nuclear scientists

A group of nuclear energy executives and consultants refuted the nearly 80-year-old belief that low doses of radiation can eventually cause cancer, instead positing that it produces a beneficial biological response, in an article published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Tort reform may reduce defensive imaging

Researchers found decreasing imaging utilization in states with stronger physician protection from malpractice suits, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

MITA recognizes congressmen for introducing device tax repeal legislation

After introducing bipartisan legislation to repeal the 2.3 percent medical device excise tax—which took effect in 2013 before being suspended for two years on Dec. 31, 2015—Reps. Erik Paulsen, R-Minnesota, and Ron Kind D-Wisconsin, were both recognized and applauded by the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance (MITA).

NY mammography access bill goes into effect

Women in New York may have an easier time getting a mammogram in 2017, as legislation expanding access to breast cancer screening went into effect on Jan. 1. The law mandates extended screening hours for hospitals and eliminates deductibles and co-payments for all screening and most diagnostic imaging.

MACRA's patient-facing threshold could cause problems for radiologists

In a study conducted by the Harvey L. Nieman Health Policy Institute and published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, researchers found problems with the current MACRA/MIIPS reporting framework, citing a too-low threshold of patient encounters and surgical codes where radiologists are no longer eligible for certain considerations.

CMS criticized over lack of support for CT colonography

Imaging societies and advocacy groups nearly universally decried CMS’s decision to not revisit Medicare coverage for CT colonography (CTC). CTC has endorsements from major players including the American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology and the Food and Drug Administration.  

 

Final warning: MACRA is almost here

As expected, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was a hot topic at RSNA 2016 in Chicago. There were sessions that explained it, writers who covered it, and attendees throughout McCormick Place were talking about it all week. Heck, I’d say MACRA was the most buzzworthy thing to hit Chicago all year, but the World Series-winning Cubs probably still top that list. 

Ultrasound on your iPhone: FDA approval for mobile-integrated scanner

The integration of mobile and medical devices continues with the FDA awarding 510(k) clearance to Clarius Mobile Health’s C3 and L7 Wireless Ultrasound Scanners.

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