From Shining Sea to “Sunshine Act”
By Carlos Vasquez, RT(R), CRA, FAHRA, FACHE
July 2013—One objective during my tenure as president has been to increase AHRA’s support of advocacy efforts for medical imaging legislation and to provide you with up to date, useful regulatory news. We made significant progress toward this goal when the Board of Directors endorsed the movement to promote patient awareness of dense breast tissue, “Are You Dense Advocacy” and with the creation of a page on the AHRA website to provide access to regulatory news. We continue to take careful steps on this endeavor; know that our actions are intended to produce the best outcome for AHRA and the greatest benefit to our members.
The Federal Physician Payment Sunshine Act is yet another provision that’s part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It requires certain manufacturers, including medical device manufacturers, to report payments to physicians and teaching hospitals anywhere in the country. Information will start being reported to CMS on August 1, 2013, and the first report will be made public by March 2014. This provision is designed to promote transparency in relationships between the industry and physicians and to help control the rising costs of healthcare.
July is here, which means Independence Day and the AHRA Annual Meeting are coming up -what a great way to start Q3 2013! The Design Team has packed in 96 hours of best practices education, networking, and cutting edge technology at the sold out exhibit hall. We’re kicking things off with our inaugural Physician Leadership track and CRA Exam Workshop on Sunday, and ending these four exciting days with an 80’s Theme Party. This year AHRA is proud to honor our men and women in uniform and will have a military lounge within the exhibit hall for networking opportunities. As you know, earlier this year we unveiled a military membership option, which was initiated with Air Force and will soon be extended to the rest of our Armed Forces.
AHRA is also celebrating its 40th anniversary in Minneapolis, and we anticipate having the greatest gathering of AHRA Past-Presidents under one roof. It truly is exciting and humbling to talk to these AHRA trailblazers and hear their stories and passion for AHRA after all these years. I remember my first AHRA Annual Meeting in 1992 in Orlando and seeing President Michael Favreau in formal wear the entire week. I vividly remember attending one of his presentations titled “Capital Equipment: I Want It and I Want It Now.” I recently reached out to Howard Schwartz, 1985 AHRA President, after noticing that he lives in a suburb of Minneapolis. I brought him up to date with AHRA’s activities, and he ended up volunteering to host the AHRA Past Presidents’ reunion. It truly is in AHRA’s DNA to volunteer with passion. We have come a long way and continue to reap harvest from the seeds that the AHRA founders planted over 40 years ago. Please join me on Sunday, July 28th in the Minneapolis Convention Center and pay tribute to AHRA’s Past Presidents!
I want to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge the AHRA staff for all of their contributions. They are focused and dedicated to providing quality service to our members, take pride in learning member and industry needs, and deliver on member experience time after time. We have a staff of eleven dedicated individuals, and six of them will join us at the Annual Meeting – check out our website for contacts and make sure to introduce yourself in Minneapolis.
Treasure your health as much as your freedom; neither is free, but you may buy one with money.
See you in Minneapolis!
Carlos Vasquez, RT(R), CRA, FAHRA, FACHE is president of the 2012-2013 AHRA Board of Directors. He is the division director of radiology services at Franciscan-St. Elizabeth Health in Lafayette, IN and can be reached at Carlos.firstname.lastname@example.org.