Physicians and adjudicators use chest radiographs (X-rays) as a tool in evaluating whether a coal miner suffers from pneumoconiosis (black lung disease). Accordingly, the Department's regulations implementing the Black Lung Benefits Act allow the submission of radiographs in connection with benefit claims and set out quality standards for their performance. These standards are currently limited to film radiographs. In recent years, many medical facilities have phased out film radiography infavor of digital radiography. This proposed rule would update the existing film-radiograph standards and provide parallel standards for digital radiographs. The proposed rule would also update outdated terminology and remove certain obsolete provisions.
The comment period that ends on 08/12/2013