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Advocacy and Outreach

Advocacy and Outreach

SIR advocates on behalf of its members and interventional radiology before Congress, insurance carriers and other key decision-makers. The society also reaches around the world and out to partners across corporate, public and private sectors to ensure the story of interventional radiology is spread through a range of communication channels. 


Latest news

FDA Reclassifies Radiological and Medical Imaging Devices

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted a series of notices on January 22, 2020, about reclassifying radiological and medical imaging devices from Class III to Class II. To learn more about each reclassification please select from the links below.

  • Radiological Computer-Aided Triage and Notification Software: Read More
  • Radiological Computer-Assisted Diagnostic Software for Lesions Suspicious for Cancer: Read More
  • Medical Image Analyzers: Read More

FDA seeks information about the use of radioactive drugs

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  posted a notice in the Federal Register on January 20, 2020, seeking public comments on information collection requirements contained in regulations governing the use of radioactive drugs for basic informational research for FDA’s Radioactive Drug Research Committees. Public comment and data collection will be open until March 23, 2020.

FDA Nomination Requests

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted the following requests for FDA Advisory Board and Standard Committee nominations:

All nominations for membership should be submitted electronically by logging into the FDA Advisory Nomination Portal at or by mail to Advisory Committee Oversight and Management Staff, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 32, Rm. 5103, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Information about becoming a member on an FDA advisory committee can also be obtained by visiting FDA's website.

If you are interested in applying for any of these FDA Advisory Committees, please contact Judi Buckalew, SIR Director of Government Relations at jbuckalew@sirweb.org for more information and/ or assistance. SIR needs to know if you intend to submit an application or submit comments to the FDA.

SIR signs onto CSM letter about scope of practice implications for non-physician led health practices

SIR joined with the American Medical Association (AMA) to send a letter to CMS on January 16, 2020. The letter expresses concern with the far-reaching implications of CMS’ request for information regarding physician-led health care and the impact changes will have on state scope of practice laws.

FDA Announces Public Workshop on Role of AI in Radiological Imaging

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced they are hosting a public workshop entitled "Evolving Role of Artificial Intelligence in Radiological Imaging." The intent of this public workshop is to discuss emerging applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in radiological imaging including AI devices intended to automate the diagnostic radiology workflow as well as guided image acquisition. The purpose of the workshop is to work with interested stakeholders to identify the benefits and risks associated with the use of AI in radiological imaging and to discuss best practices for the validation of AI-automated radiological imaging software and image acquisition devices. 

Information can be found here: https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/workshops-conferences-medical-devices/public-workshop-evolving-role-artificial-intelligence-radiological-imaging-02252020-02262020

SIR working with newly formed Congressional PAD Caucus

In September 2019, Representative Donald Payne Jr. (NJ-10) and Representative Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) created the Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Congressional Caucus. Representatives Payne and Bilirakis formed the PAD Caucus to educate Congress and communities about PAD while supporting legislative activities to improve research, education, and treatment of PAD.

 To support the goal of preventing amputation due to PAD, the PAD Caucus has determined the following priorities for the 116th Congress:

  • U.S. Preventive Services Task Force should review screening for PAD for at-risk patients;
  • The Administration should form an intragovernmental workgroup to implement a comprehensive amputation prevention program for PAD patients in Medicare, the IHS and other federal programs based on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Preventing Amputations in Veterans Everywhere (PAVE) program;
  • Medicare should incent multidisciplinary review of PAD patients in Medicare; and
  • Medicare should disallow non-traumatic amputations without arterial testing.

SIR is working with Representative Payne, Representative Bilirakis, and other PAD Caucus partners, including the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, to highlight the benefits of interventional radiology as a desirable treatment for PAD. SIR Government Relations plans to recruit and enlist volunteers from New Jersey, Florida and states that align with the PAD Caucus members to enhance our advocacy efforts. If you have any questions or are interested in volunteering, please contact Judi Buckalew at jbuckalew@sirweb.org or Jeremy Haines at jhaines@sirweb.org

SIR signs onto CSM letter about Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDRs)

SIR joined with the Physician Clinical Registry Coalition (PCRC) to send a  letter to CMS on December 11, 2019. The letter expressed concern about the requirement that Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDRs) must fully test their QCDR measures prior to including them in their self-nomination applications.

House Ways and Means Committees announce their proposed solution to Surprise Billing

The House Ways and Means Committee released a statement addressing a bipartisan proposal for surprise medical bills on December 11. The proposal is currently in the form of an outline, and it could be until after the holidays before the legislative language is released. Like the other proposals, the Ways & Means Committee's plan would include an independent dispute resolution (IDR) system. However, Ways & Means does not restrict IDR to claims above a certain threshold amount, nor does it establish a payment benchmark based on in-network payment amounts. Senate Democrats are still working on solutions to address this important issue. SIR is carefully monitoring these developments and communicating our position to pass a bill that holds patients harmless and protects access to care.

Senate HELP and House Energy and Commerce Committees announce a proposed solution to Surprise Billing

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Greg Walden (R-OR), have issued a joint press statement describing agreement terms on surprise billing legislation.

The agreement is a merger of the surprise billing legislation the House Energy and Commerce (H.R. 2328) and Senate HELP Committees (S.1895) approved earlier this year. Both bills would protect patients by limiting the out-of-pocket costs to the amount they would have owed if they had been treated by an in-network physician.

SIR opposes this new surprise billing agreement, which includes provisions that would resolve payment disputes between physicians and insurers by using a benchmark rate setting out-of-network payments at the median amount each insurer pays for in-network care. The new agreement includes a limited independent dispute resolution (IDR) process with a $750 threshold that would only allow for the consideration of median in-network rates.

The work on resolving surprise billing is not over. Senate Democratic Leaders and the House Ways and Means Committee are continuing to work on independent solutions to address surprise medical billing.

Congress has very limited legislative time remaining before the holiday recess and is distracted with the impeachment proceedings. Congress must also pass a spending bill on or before December 20 to keep the government funded. Congressional deliberations on surprise billing legislation will likely be pushed into early next year. SIR is carefully monitoring the surprise billing discussion and is working to ensure that any final solution that holds patients harmless and protects access to care.

IR Medicare payments cuts to IR in PFS final rule reduced from 6% to 1%

The final rule for the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for 2020 was announced on Nov. 3 and is available to view here.

 

 

Government affairs

Your voice in Washington, D.C.

The Society of Interventional Radiology's government relations and health policy staff members work to further the interests of society members by advocating on their behalf before Congress, regulatory and federal agencies and the White House.

SIR members play a vital role in this process. The government affairs section will guide you through our advocacy efforts and the major policy issues that affect the society.


SIRPAC

SIRPAC is the Society of Interventional Radiology Political Action Committee, a nonpartisan body dedicated to supporting political candidates who may help advance SIR’s public policy mission and legislative initiatives. SIRPAC elevates the profile of interventional radiology, SIR and society members among representatives in Congress by enabling the society to better leverage its lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C.

Corporate relations

Over 40 years ago, all-new categories of devices enabled clinical pioneers to attempt the first true, minimally invasive, interventional techniques and inaugurate a tradition of partnership in improving outcomes.

SIR collaborates today with commercial partners through multiple avenues to reveal innovations in clinical devices, pharmaceuticals and combination technologies. Our corporate programs work to provide opportunities to align businesses with minimally-invasive providers, advance healthcare capabilities and benefit the patients we serve together. Learn more about how we partner with industry.

Media relations

SIR facilitates access to experts and resources to help news outlets report on minimally invasive, image-guided therapeutic treatments. Find our latest media statements, our media contacts and more in the SIR newsroom.

The Society of Interventional Radiology media relations staff works with members of the news media to facilitate access to many resources and helps reporters cover issues about minimally invasive, image-guided therapeutic treatments.


Our communications department staff:

  • Handles your inquiries
  • Sets up interviews with an expert
  • Serves as a source for story ideas regarding the latest advances in interventional radiology treatments.

Practice resources

From the impact of healthcare reform to patient relations, SIR provides tips and advice for real-world issues facing today's medical practices. SIR offers toolkists, standards, guidelines and other valuable resources to equip you for success in quality reimbursement and advocacy.

Find practice resources

Developing a global specialty

SIR’s goal is to build a global network to support IR everywhere. Building relationships, identifying  regional needs and creating regional programmatic opportunities.

 

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Partnership with industry can improve outcomes

Many businesses provide tools and services critical to the delivery of healthcare. Discover how companies can collaborate more closely with the society, engage better with the interventional radiology community and help make SIR’s mission possible.

Meet CAP

Advance IR through advocacy

A donation to SIRPAC allows SIR to build relationships with key members of the House and Senate and their staffs to advance IR through  legislation that promotes patient access to IR services.

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SIR International Scholars Program

Growing IR's international profile

The SIR International Scholars Program enables physicians within 10 years of completion of training, who are practicing outside North America, an opportunity to attend the SIR Annual Scientific Meeting. Offering physicians from other nations a chance to train and learn from their peers means that they can return to their countries to teach and enhance patient care. The program fosters professional networking through meeting participation, focused programming and optional observerships before or after annual meeting.

 

Go global