The Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act of 2017 was introduced on March 29 by Senator John Boozman (R-AR) as S. 769 and on April 5 by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) as H.R. 1904. These bills will enact a law that amends Medicare reimbursement policy and supervision levels for radiologist assistants to align them with state radiologist assistant laws.
Adoption of new language contained in H.R. 1904 or S. 769 will enable radiologist assistants to work under less stringent supervision levels and be more efficient health care providers. Passage of the bill will allow radiologists to devote more focused time reviewing and interpreting complex medical images or urgent cases, thus increasing access to care.
Radiologist assistants have advanced education and clinical experience, and can expertly and safely perform radiologic assessments and certain procedures that traditionally are performed only by radiologists.
Without Medicare's recognition of radiologist assistants, the profession is in peril. As a direct result of Medicare's current policy, radiologist assistants are losing their jobs and universities are on the verge of suspending or terminating their educational programs.
All radiologic technologists can help by contacting their senators and asking them to cosponsor S. 769 and their congressman asking him or her to cosponsor H.R. 1904. This is easy to do by using ASRT's Advocacy Action Center to learn more about the bills and send a message.
You can find more information, monitor activities and follow up with your federal lawmakers on the MARCA bills in the ASRT Advocacy Action Center.
Michael Latimer, M.S.R.S., R.T.(R)