ACR takes neutral stance on MARCA legislation

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The American College of Radiology (ACR) has decided to neither support nor oppose the Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act (MARCA), legislation pending in the U.S. Congress that would change reimbursement rules for radiologist assistants (RAs).

MARCA would amend Medicare reimbursement policy for radiologist assistants to align it with state RA licensure laws, according to the American Society for Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). Medicare currently pays for services performed by RAs 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.

While some groups like ASRT support the legislation, the ACR said it declined to take a position "in recognition of the widely diverse opinions of its members." The ACR's board of chancellors had therefore instructed the ACR's government relations department to take a neutral stance and not lobby Congress on MARCA 2021.

The ACR said it came to its position after weeks of conversation with ACR members, including town hall meetings and a microsite with information on the issue. The group added that it would "actively oppose imaging supervision or interpretation and any independent practice by nonphysician providers."

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