House, Senate conferees move toward CHAMP Act compromise

September 21, 2007

The fate of a Congressional proposal to require mandatory accreditation for Medicare imaging services and cut imaging payment rates was unresolved Thursday, as House and Senate officials sought a compromise for conflicting bills to reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program Act.

The fate of a Congressional proposal to require mandatory accreditation for Medicare imaging services and cut imaging payment rates was unresolved Thursday, as House and Senate officials sought a compromise for conflicting bills to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program Act.

Negotiations for a final agreement were ongoing as of late Thursday afternoon, according to sources with the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Financial Services. An agreement, however, was expected soon.

Separate bills to reauthorize a popular program that provides Medicaid benefits to children of uninsured parents were passed by the House and Senate before the Labor Day recess. Without reauthorization, the program will expire Sept. 30.

The bipartisan SCHIP Act, sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, would increase spending for the program to $35 billion.

The House Children's Health and Medicare Protection Act of 2007, sponsored by Rep. John Dingle (D-MI), boosts spending to $50 billion and includes numerous imaging-related provisions, including Medicare payment cuts and a plans to tie future changes in Medicare rates for specific imaging modalities to utilization growth. The American College of Radiology opposes those provisions. The Bush administration has threatened to veto either measure on philosophical grounds.

For more information from the Diagnostic Imaging archives:

House approves imaging reforms in bill extending Medicaid to poor children

Bush veto threat of child insurance bill endangers imaging legislation