The Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act of 2017 was introduced on March 29 by U.S. Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) as S. 769 and on April 5 by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) as H.R. 1904. These bills propose a law that amends Medicare reimbursement policy and supervision levels for radiologist assistants to align them with state radiologist assistant 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 S. 769 and H.R. 1904.
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 statutory language that will set supervision for radiologist assistants at levels consistent with state RA licensure laws. By amending Medicare reimbursement policy and supervision levels to match state licensure standards, radiologist assistants will be able to work more independently and become 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 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.
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