President’s Message

Dear colleague,                               

On behalf of the Massachusetts Radiological Society (MRS) officers and executive committee, I would like to thank you for your continued membership.  MRS is a chapter of the American College of Radiology (ACR), whose members and leaders represent diagnostic and interventional radiology, radiation oncology and medical physics in our state.  This year MRS was the overall national winner of the 2023 Chapter Challenge, which recognized our outreach efforts during the summer and encouraged almost one third of our dropped members to reinstate their membership to the ACR and MRS. 

Our society advocates on behalf of our members with the goal of ensuring the best radiological care for our patients.  We are committed to monitoring developments at the local and state level, paying attention to active legislation, and when necessary, educating and informing all stakeholders about issues related to imaging, medical physics and radiation oncology.  Below is a summary of the current legislation affecting our profession as well as upcoming events.

Current Legislation 

  1. Insurance Coverage for Breast Cancer Imaging: A hearing before the Legislature’s Financial Services Committee is expected in September on the MRS filed legislation” An Act Relative to Breast Cancer Screening and Early Detection” (H.938 &S.674), which requires health insurers to cover digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) for both screening and diagnostic breast cancer imaging. The bill also requires insurance coverage for supplemental breast cancer screening, such as ultrasound or MRI, when a screening mammogram is unable to detect cancer due to dense breast tissue or additional cancer risk factors.  In addition, the bill requires coverage for all diagnostic breast imaging.  All such coverage for DBT, supplemental screening and diagnostic exams would be first dollar coverage, not subject to co-pays of deductibles.
  2. Out of Network Default Rate: MRS is closely monitoring legislation that would establish a state imposed out-of-network (OON) payment process for state regulated health insurance plans, which would deviate from the federal No Surprises ACT (NSA). S.645 would require the Commissioner of Insurance with input from the Health Policy Commission, to set an OON rate after a hearing.  The rate would be in place for 5 year increments.  H.997 would establish an OON rate at an insurer’s median in network rate for a particular service.  Unlike the NSA, neither bill would allow for any arbitration or dispute resolution.  The rate of payment for OON would be set by law.   Insurers support these bills.
  3. Prior Authorization Reform:  MRS is joining with other medical associations and the hospital association in supporting legislation to reform the prior authorization process. H.1143 & S.1249 would:

    • Prohibit insurers and utilization entities from retrospectively denying, revoking or limiting procedures or services when authorization has already been granted.
    • Require prior authorization (PA) approval to be valid for duration of prescribed course of treatment or at least a year.
    • Current law requires utilization review within 2 business days of obtaining all necessary information. The legislation would amend that requirement to require that for urgent care the determination would be made within 24 hours.
    • Require insurers to report to the state Division of Insurance and the Health Policy Commission (HPC) statistics including services and procedures subject to PA, percentage of approvals/denials and percentage of approvals upon appeal. All data would be publicly available.
    Direct the HPC to conduct an analysis of and issue a report on use of utilization tools, including PA, and the effect on patient access to care, administrative burden on providers and system cost.
  4. Licensure of Medical Physicists:  MRS is supporting H.2175, which would create a Board of Registration in Medical Physics and require licensure of medical physicists in the Commonwealth.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

Committee on Health Equity and Community Engagement:  MRS recognizes the important role of radiologists to promote health equity in our communities. We are proud to announce that this year we have initiated a new Committee on Health Equity and Community Engagement chaired by Dr. Carolynn DeBenedictis and by our current Resident Fellow Section president Dr. Somiah Almeky.  We believe that by engaging with patients and community organizations and understanding their needs, radiologists are able to make better decisions that lead to a patient-centered approach.   We welcome participation of our members in this new committee and also in the other committee options (By-laws, Breast imaging, Diversity, Electronic communications, Fellowship, Judicial affairs, Medical Physics Advisory, Membership, Nominating, Radiation Oncology, Subcomittee on Residents and Fellows and Subspecialty Advisory Network) through which you can be part of the many activities that MRS supports.  If you are interested in getting more involved in any of these committees, please email Mrs. Lina Szymkowski, our chapter administrator, at

Educational Events and Webinars: Our organization remains committed to education.  We surveyed our membership last summer and the majority expressed a strong preference for online educational events (including the annual meeting), which have allowed more members from the entire state to remain engaged.   Last year we hosted two online webinars with topics related to Radiology Malpractice and The Future of Radiology. During our annual meeting, Dr Kotsenas spoke to us about Physician Burnout and Wellbeing. Our Quality and Safety meetings included topics addressing Approaches to Reducing Breast Cancer Disparities and Peer Learning.  We are hosting a fall webinar on October 4 in which Dr. Ryan Lee will talk to us about economic and political issues affecting radiology.  

Mark your calendars for the MRS Annual Meeting which will be held on-line on Wednesday, March 13, 2024.  Our invited speakers Dr. Dreyer and Dr. Bernardo will give us an update on ethics and regulations of AI and Chat GPT in radiology.   We welcome your suggestions for future webinar topics. 

Resident Fellow Events:  Our resident fellow section remains active and during the last year they organized very successful events including a Harbor Cruise Dinner, a Call Prep Series and a Career Panel for current trainees.  Next year they will be working with the Young Professionals Section of the MRS to offer a new event geared towards preparing residents and fellows for the transition to becoming an attending radiologist.  MRS will continue to support the tuition of three trainees to attend the annual Radiology Leadership Institute (RLI) Leadership Summit and one trainee to attend the ACR Rutherford-Lavanty fellowship in government relations.  

Networking Events: The membership survey also made clear that most of our members value personal connections and social events.  On September 23, we will host an in-person networking event at Trillium Brewing Fort Point in the Boston Seaport.  This is a great opportunity to reconnect with colleagues.  Please RSVP here:  Invitation  We hope to see many of you during this event.

ACR Annual Meeting: The ACR Annual Meeting will be held in Washington DC from April 13 to 17, 2024.  Join the MRS councilors, alternate councilors, new fellows, members, and trainees and stay for Capitol Hill Day to advocate for issues that are critical to our members and affect our profession.

MRS is an organization powered by volunteers.  I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Officers and Executive Committee for their contributions.  I am deeply indebted to Dr. Neel Madan, our past president for his leadership and service to our Society.  I would also like to thank our past treasurer and current vice-president Dr. Amy Oliveira, our new treasurer Dr. Monica Wood, our secretary, Dr. Lauren Ferrara and our president elect Dr. Scott Cameron for their time and dedication to our organization.  The chairs and co-chairs of the various MRS committees and the members of our Resident and Fellow Section also deserve our appreciation. I am grateful for the guidance of our legal counsel Mr. Ed Brennan and the support of our chapter administrator Mrs. Lina Szymkowski.   It is an honor to serve our membership and this endeavor would not be possible without your support.

I hope to see many of you in the networking event on September 23, during our online webinar on October 4 and during the online annual meeting on March 13. 

With warmest regards,

Ilse Castro-Aragon MD, FACR

2023-2024 President, Massachusetts Radiological Society.