Senate Bill 769 was introduced on March 29, 2017 by Senator John Boozman (R-AR) and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). House Resolution 1904 was introduced on April 5, 2017 by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX), Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI).
The American Society of Radiologic Technologists, American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, 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 radiologist assistant who is working under the personal supervision of a radiologist. The ASRT, ARRT, ACR and SRPE are advocating for the adoption of statutory language in Medicare that will set radiologist supervision levels for RAs at levels consistent with state licensure laws that reflect the collaboration of all four organizations. By amending CMS reimbursement policy and supervision levels to match state licensure standards, RAs will be able to contribute more to the radiology team and assist with efficient patient care. The adoption of this language would enable radiologists to devote more focused time reviewing and interpreting complex medical images or urgent cases, and increasing patients’ access to care.
RAs have completed advanced education and clinical competencies 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 radiologist assistant programs.
ASRT members can stay up to date on this effort by accessing the RA Community.
RAs allow radiologists to devote more focused, uninterrupted time reviewing and interpreting complex medical images and providing timely diagnoses that will result in efficient, appropriate medical treatment. This means greater timeliness, accuracy and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries. Patients need and deserve this level of care, and Medicare beneficiaries are certainly entitled to this level of care as well.