I attended the Current Issues conference presented by the SVT/U this past
weekend in Washington, DC.
It was well organized, EXTREMELY informative and very timely. As the
flying minivan I was travelling home on was being battered around in
turbulence I tried to distract myself by composing a mental “to do” list
for the next day (should the plane land safely).
This list (in no particular order) is thus:
Tell the Flownet readers about the importance of the society of vascular
ultrasound/technology. There is a core of dedicated individuals who are
working tirelessly to make our jobs and our patients’ care better. They
need our support. One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to
actually become AWARE of what is going on.
Email or Fax your Senator today. Talk to your coworkers, physicians, heck –
your patients should know that they need to contact their Senators
immediately to urge their support and action on the Medicare Fairness
Initiative. Some very important legislation is going to die a silent death
in the near future if we don’t act loudly now. Don’t mail a letter – it
won’t get to your senator fast enough. Send it electronically.
For those of you who (like me) have been living with your heads in the sand
about issues that we think only affect colleagues in IDTFs and private
offices, let me paint a picture using green paint. If IDTF’s and private
offices fail to thrive because of enormous fiscal strain, the burden of
work will fall on the shoulders of the hospital based facilities. Now you
managers may be rubbing your fingers thinking more is better. First off,
reducing access to health care is bad. Secondly, getting your overworked
staff to carry the load is also bad and ultimately worse because it becomes
a vicious cycle as staff burns out and seeks alternate jobs. We all want
to be paid better. As it was pointed out to me, administrators, no matter
how scarce resources become, will not pay big salaries (for vascular
techs/sonographers) without the reimbursement to support them. They will
simply stop offering the service. If vascular studies are well reimbursed,
higher salaries will be realistic. If salaries go up for non-hospital
based staff, salaries will be driven up for the rest of you. And remember
employers are competing nationally for staff so don’t think that because
you live in some isolated health care niche (like I did here in Vermont)
that it is of no importance. So if you won’t take action for your patients
directly, do it for your own sake and your patients indirectly.
1. Contact your Senators today (www.senate.gov). Urge them for
support and action on the Medicare Fairness Initiative. (It doesn’t have to
be an essay, just let them know the voters are aware and concerned)
2. Spread the word.
3. Support the SVT/SVU through membership and action. Join or form your
4. Put your coffee money for one week in a hat and pass it around work.
Send a check to the SVT to keep up the fight. It is extremely expensive to
mount this campaign and we can’t do it with just the membership fees of a
few hundred people.
Steve Knight BSc RVT
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