Happy New Year! A new year always brings the opportunity for a fresh start, something all of us desperately need. This past year has seen many fits and starts, as the variants have gone through half of the Greek alphabet. No one knows what the coming year will bring. I’m sure we will all continue to face challenges from the virus, but radiologists have always been resilient.
One thing every January does bring is a new legislative session in Olympia. As many of you know, state legislators only meet in Olympia for several months at the beginning of the year. This leads to a mad rush to pass legislation…and a mad rush for your Washington State Radiological Society to figure out what bills other groups are trying to pass. Thank goodness for our lobbyist Jim Hedrick! He summarizes in this newsletter some of the proposed bills that could have a profound impact on your practice.
With all of the state legislators gathered at the capital, your Washington State Radiological Society organizes an annual advocacy day to meet key members. Despite the trepidation from a half-day of back-to-back Zoom meetings, several WSRS Board members persevered this year, and met with Rep. Eileen Cody, the chair of the House Health Care & Wellness Committee, as well as Ms. Jane Beyer from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, discussing all things balance billing. We also took the opportunity to meet our home representatives, keeping lines of communication open. Hopefully, we can meet our representatives and senators in person next year, and I encourage all of you to join us. No experience needed! We will make sure to team you up with someone more experienced when you talk with your legislators.
Many of your WSRS Board members are also preparing for the ACR Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, that runs April 24-27. Here we learn about multiple initiatives from the ACR, as well as challenges that radiologists in other states face (and often make their way to Washington State). We also represent our state as multiple ACR resolutions are debated, and Practice Parameters get discussed. While there, we take the opportunity to meet with our US Senators and Representatives, helping legislators understand the difficulties that radiologists face.
A new year always brings new challenges, but with them new opportunities. Your WSRS is well-positioned for both.
Wishing you and your families all the best in 2022,
MD, FRCPC, FACR
WSRS President, 2020-2022