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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 amend Medicare reimbursement policy for radiologist assistants to align it with state radiologist assistant licensure laws.
In late 2018, Medicare amended its payment policy to adjust the radiologist supervision levels for radiologist assistants. The ASRT, ARRT, ACR and SRPE are now advocating for the adoption of statutory language in Medicare that will ensure that regardless of the setting in which the radiology service is performed; hospital, critical access hospital, ambulatory surgical center or any other facility setting, that services provided by a radiologist assistant receive complete Medicare reimbursement. By not separating radiologist assistant reimbursement policies into different payment categories by service location, the adoption of MARCA would enable radiologists to devote more focused time to reviewing and interpreting complex medical images or urgent cases, thus increasing patients’ access to care. RAs will be able to work more efficiently, and Medicare patients will receive care from qualified RAs regardless of the facility in which their procedure takes place.
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 complete Medicare reimbursement for RAs, services made to the radiology practices employing RAs the profession is in peril. As a direct result of Medicare’s current policy, RAs are losing their jobs and are unable to practice to the full extent of their capabilities. Medicare patients are not receiving the full benefit of care provided by a qualified and experienced radiology professional.
ASRT members can stay up-to-date on MARCA and RA issues 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.