The Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act (MARCA)
The Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act (MARCA) legislation, previously introduced in the 112th and 113th Congresses, has been introduced in the 114th Congress as House Resolution 4614. This bill will recognize registered radiologist assistants and certified radiology practitioner assistants — collectively known as radiologist assistants — as nonphysician providers of health care services by Medicare. H.R. 4614 authorizes physician reimbursement paid to the facility or supervising radiologist through the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for services performed by radiologist assistants in the states that have laws establishing RA guidelines.
The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), American College of Radiologists (ACR) and the Society for Radiology Physician Extenders (SRPE) are working together in support of H.R. 4614.
Currently, Medicare pays for services performed by an RA who is working under the personal supervision of a radiologist. The ARRT, ASRT, ACR and SRPE are advocating for the adoption of legislative language that will set radiologist supervision levels for radiologist assistants at levels consistent with state licensure laws. By amending CMS reimbursement policy and supervision levels to match state licensure standards, radiologist assistants 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 to reviewing and interpreting complex medical images or urgent cases, thus increasing patients’ access to care.
The radiologist assistant has advanced education and training and can expertly and safely perform radiologic assessments and certain procedures that traditionally were performed only by radiologists.