Legislation, Regulations and Advocacy

Legislation, Regulations and Advocacy
The Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act (MARCA)

The Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act of 2019 was introduced on March 28 by U.S. Reps. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania and Pete Olson of Texas as House Resolution 1970 with companion legislation, Senate Bill 1544 introduced on May 20 by Sen. John Boozman. These bills propose a law that amends Medicare reimbursement policy for radiologist assistants to align it with state radiologist assistant licensure laws.

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, American Society of Radiologic Technologists, American College of Radiologists and the Society for Radiology Physician Extenders are working together to support enactment of H.R. 1970 and S. 1544.

Currently, Medicare pays for services performed by an RA following the state’s scope of practice, supervision rules and licensure requirements. MARCA will ensure that regardless of the setting in which the service is performed, hospital, critical access hospital, ambulatory surgical center or any other facility setting, that complete Medicare reimbursement is paid. The adoption of this language would allow RAs to practice to their full ability and enable radiologists to devote more focused time to reviewing and interpreting complex medical images or urgent cases, thus increasing patients’ access to care. H.R. 1970 and S. 1544 will ensure that regardless of the facility in which a radiology service is performed by a RA, that Medicare reimbursement will pay for the complete procedure.

The radiologist assistant is a certified radiographer who has completed advanced education, clinical experience and certification to be able to expertly and safely perform radiologic assessments and certain procedures that traditionally were performed only by radiologists.

 

H.R. 1970

S. 1544