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Federal RA Reimbursement Bill Introduced

Mar 15, 2013

The Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act, H.R. 1148, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 14. The legislation would allow facilities to bill Medicare for medical imaging services performed by qualified radiologist assistants under the direction of a supervising radiologist.

Introduced by Reps. Dave Reichert, R-Wash.; Jim Matheson, D-Utah; Pete Olson, R-Texas; and Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., H.R. 1148 would set standards within the Medicare program for services provided by radiology physician extenders, reduce existing RA supervision restrictions and allow facilities to be reimbursed for the services RAs perform at 85 percent of the existing physician fee schedule rate.

"The American Society of Radiologic Technologists supports H.R. 1148 and encourages Congress to pass this important health care measure," said ASRT President Donna Thaler Long, M.S.M., R.T.(R)(M)(QM), FASRT. "RAs are highly qualified medical imaging professionals who improve productivity and efficiency at a time when the demand for medical imaging services is on the rise."

An RA is an advanced-level registered radiologic technologist who enhances patient care by extending the capacity of the radiologist in the diagnostic imaging environment. RAs have completed an advanced medical imaging academic program encompassing a nationally recognized curriculum and a radiologist-directed clinical preceptorship.

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and the Certification Board for Radiology Practitioner Assistants certify radiologist assistants. Currently, 29 states license, regulate or recognize the RA as a member of the radiology health care team.

In addition to the ASRT, the ARRT, American College of Radiology and Society of Radiology Physician Extenders support the bill.

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