ASRT supports bill on radiologist assistant payment

By staff writers

June 8, 2021 -- The American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) is backing the latest attempt to pass legislation to provide Medicare reimbursement for services performed in which radiologist assistants (RAs) participate.

Rep. Michael Doyle (D-PA) introduced the Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act (MARCA) as HR 3657 on June 1 in the U.S. House of Representatives. He had previously introduced MARCA as HR 1970 in March 2019.

MARCA would amend Medicare reimbursement policy for RAs to align it with state RA licensure laws, according to the ASRT. Medicare currently pays for RA-performed services based on the scope of practice, supervision rules, and licensure requirements.

However, MARCA would ensure payment for imaging services that include an RA component, regardless of the setting in which it's performed.

The legislation would enable RAs to practice to their full ability and enable radiologists to devote more time to reviewing and interpreting complex images or urgent cases, the ASRT said. The bill is also supported by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, and the Society for Radiology Physician Extenders. The American College of Radiology is evaluating the bill before determining whether to support it.

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