From the ASRT Communities:
Medicare Recognition of the Radiologist Assistant
House Resolution 4614 and its Senate companion bill to be introduced by Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., is supported by more than 50 organizations including the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, American College of Radiology and the Society for Radiology Physician Extenders.
Read H.R. 4614 text and use these guidelines to communicate with your member of Congress.
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H.R. 4614, the Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act of 2016, was introduced on Feb. 25 by Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas. This bill provides for Medicare recognition of registered radiologist assistants certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and radiology practitioner assistants certified by the Certification Board for Radiology Practitioner Assistants (jointly referred to as radiologist assistants). Joining Congressman Olson as co-sponsors are Reps. Dave Reichert, R-Wash.; Bill Pascrell, D-N.J.; and Michael Doyle, D-Penn. All of the sponsors sit on congressional committees with jurisdiction over this bill. Reps. Reichert and Pascrell are assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee, and Reps. Olson and Doyle are members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark, will introduce a companion bill in May.
The American Society of Radiologic Technologists, ARRT, American College of Radiology and the Society for Radiology Physician Extenders are working together to obtain Medicare recognition of the RA as a midlevel provider of health care services working under the supervision of a radiologist.
Medicare currently pays for services performed by a radiology physician extender who is working under the personal supervision of a radiologist. The ASRT, ARRT, ACR and SRPE are advocating for the adoption of statutory language that will set radiologist supervision levels for RAs at levels consistent with state licensure laws. By amending CMS reimbursement policy and supervision levels to match state licensure standards, RAs will be able to work more independently and be more efficient health care providers. The adoption of this language would enable radiologists to devote more focused time reviewing and interpreting complex medical images or urgent cases, thus increasing patients’ access to care.
RAs have advanced education and training and can expertly and safely perform radiologic assessments and certain procedures that traditionally were performed only by radiologists.
Without Medicare’s recognition of RAs, the profession is in peril. As a direct result of Medicare’s current policy RAs are losing their jobs and universities are on the verge of suspending or terminating their training programs.
Please contact your federal representative and senators in Washington, D.C., today and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 4614 and Sen. Boozman’s Senate companion bill — legislation that will improve the quality of patients’ access to care provided by qualified RAs.
ASRT members can stay up to date on this effort by accessing the RA Community. ------------------------------
Liana Watson, D.M., R.T., RDMS, FASRT, CAE
ASRT Associate Executive Director of Operations and Governance
Executive Vice President, ASRT Foundation