Bill Would Bolster RA Recognition
The Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act of 2011 (HR 3032), which would amend the Social Security Act to recognize radiologist assistants (RAs) as non-physician providers of health care services for Medicare beneficiaries, was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives on September 23. Filed by U.S. Reps Dave Reichert (R-WA), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Pete Olson (R-TX), and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), the bill would also authorize physician reimbursement through the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for procedures performed by RAs in states that have laws establishing radiologist assistant practice guidelines. RAs are currently licensed or certified in 29 states. Moreover, under the proposed legislation, health care facilities and radiology practices would be reimbursed for services performed by RAs. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, the American College of Radiology, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, and the Society of Radiology Physician Extenders have already made public their support of the bill.