State watch: Rad techs slam ‘inequitable’ Louisiana tax law; Missouri, Pennsylvania boost breast imaging coverage

LOUISIANA—Radiologic technologists are slamming a new Louisiana tax law as “inequitable” for leaving out their profession and other allied health workers.

House Bill 70 recently passed in a special session, granting a small, one-time tax rebate to certain workers. The American Society of Radiologic Technologists criticized the new policy on Friday for failing to include its members along with radiation therapists.

“Providing the tax rebate only to the professions listed on the Department of Revenue’s website is inequitable and potentially divisive to the entire team of healthcare workers who provide direct patient care to COVID-19 patients,” ASRT President Michael Odgren wrote in a letter to the Louisiana secretary of revenue on Thursday.

The society noted that the federal government currently defines rad techs and therapists as essential workers. They’re pushing Gov. John Bel Edwards to issue an executive order, revising the July 13 emergency rule to include these two professions, which total roughly 6,000 in the state.

Breast imaging coverage expansion

MISSOURI—Gov. Michael Parson recently signed into law provisions that would expand coverage for breast cancer screenings.

The state leader gave his final approval on July 13 to HB 1682 and SB 551. The switch requires payers to cover all women’s mammography exams—when deemed necessary by a treating physician—along with supplemental ultrasound and MRI testing.

In a recent news post to members, the American College of Radiology noted that these new recommendations are “based on scientific evidence, that breast cancer risk is underestimated among younger U.S. women.

The reimbursement change is slated to take effect on Aug. 28.

Ditto in PA

PENNSYLVANIA—Meanwhile, Gov. Tom Wolf took similar action on July 1, signing SB 595 into law. Supported by the Pennsylvania Radiological Society, the measure stipulates that minimum breast imaging coverage should also include MRI—or ultrasound if recommended by a physician—for patients at a heightened risk of breast cancer, according to the ACR. That includes women with dense breast tissue, BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations, or a lifetime risk of breast cancer greater than 20%.