The Omnibus Appropriations Bill of 2014, otherwise known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, is a federal bill that combines several appropriation bills into one large bill. An appropriations bill is a legislative directive that authorizes the government to spend money, and that money is earmarked to be spent in certain areas. A big winner in the recent bill? The field of radiology.
Impact on the Field of Radiology
The Omnibus Appropriations Bill of 2014 approved a $1 billion increase for the National Institute of Health (NIH), which also includes a $10 million increase for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). The NIH is the premier research institution in the world and the NIBIB is the agency responsible for initiating new insights for new advancements for early detection and treatment of disease.
The NIH and the NIBIB are government agencies that focus on research and advancement in the fields of medicine and, in particular, medical imaging. The major boost to the field of radiology is the restoration of 85 million dollars of funding that was lost in fiscal year 2013 due to the mandatory sequestration cuts.
The funding the NIH and the NIBIB have garnered with this legislation clears a path for patients and physicians to receive new and improved technology to allow for earlier detection and more effective treatment of disease.
It should be noted that the additional funding appropriated to the NIH and the NIBIB wasn’t simply handed to them because of the astonishing developments they make every day to the field of medical imaging. These well-respected institutions undertook a yearlong effort, which culminated after the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in December, in which researchers went to the website of the Academy of Radiology and ultimately sent in excess of 7,000 emails to congress in hopes of influencing the Budget Conference Committee to restore the funding and support the NIH and the NIBIB.
Additional Benefits Associated with the Omnibus Appropriations Bill
Medical imaging technology is one of our country’s greatest exports. With this new piece of legislation and increased funding to the NIBIB, which is a catalyst for the GDP, the American economy will benefit due to the fact that research, development, and manufacturing of medical imaging technologies will all be increased. This bill has also provided several provisions that may be of great interest to individuals current performing research in the field of medical imaging.
Among these provisions include policies for competing and non-competing grants that are proportional to the funding increase, additional research programs focusing on Alzheimer’s disease, an Administrative Burden Reduction Workgroup, workshops on patient enrollment into clinical trials, a strategic plan for Clinical and Translational Science Awards, and a plan to add additional scrutiny on both intramural and extramural researchers who receive grants of $1.5 million or more.
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