A Look Ahead to Our Priorities in 2021
Over the last year, America’s healthcare system has been tested like never before. As we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be of prime importance to ensure vulnerable patients – especially those dealing with cancer and other advanced illnesses – can access the care they need.
Despite the challenges ahead, the new Congress and Administration offer us fresh opportunities to advance policies that support medical innovation, protect patient safety, and expand access to life-changing imaging technologies. Here are a few of our priorities for the new year:
Promoting Safe Medical Device Servicing
Promoting patient safety means ensuring medical imaging devices, such as MRI machines and CT scanners, are properly maintained and serviced. As Right Scan Right Time patient leader Erika Brown aptly put it in a recently published op-ed, “Patients deserve to know that medical device servicers do not cut corners and that they take responsibility for quality and safety.”
Indeed, as more patients return to delayed imaging and diagnostic procedures, the individuals servicing complex medical devices must be properly regulated to make sure patients are receiving safe and accurate scans. Unfortunately, unlike servicing technicians employed by original equipment manufacturers, other “third-party” servicing businesses are not held to any regulatory requirements and operate primarily outside of Food & Drug Administration (FDA) oversight.
That is why spreading the message about the importance of safe servicing is a key 2021 priority. To support patient safety and ensure device efficacy, the FDA must hold all servicers to the same quality, safety, and regulatory requirements, including proper training, adverse event reporting, and technician registration to ensure that patients are receiving safe and accurate scans.
Promoting Patient Access to Innovative Diagnostic Tools
As cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and numerous other medical conditions continue to exact a heavy toll on vulnerable patients, it’s essential crucial that Medicare and other payers to take the steps necessary to expand access to innovative medical imaging technologies that can detect these conditions early when they are most treatable.
This means updating coverage policies to ensure Medicare patients can access advanced diagnostic nuclear imaging procedures, which can improve treatment outcomes.
2021 is sure to be a busy year– and we are well underway with our patient-centered policy initiatives. Be sure to sign up for more updates in the weeks and months ahead!