Medicare Recognition of the Radiologist Assistant

Let your federal lawmakers know radiologist assistants play a very valuable role in health care and should be recognized by Medicare.

Write your representative and senators now! 

  1. 769 text.

H.R. 1904 text.

Senate Bill 769 was introduced on March 29, 2017 by Senator John Boozman (R-AR) and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). House Resolution 1904 was introduced on April 5, 2017 by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX), Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI).

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 obtain Medicare recognition of the RA as a midlevel provider of health care services working under the supervision of a radiologist.

Medicare currently pays for services performed by a radiologist assistant who is working under the personal supervision of a radiologist. The ASRT, ARRT, ACR and SRPE are advocating for the adoption of statutory language in Medicare that will set radiologist supervision levels for RAs at levels consistent with state licensure laws. By amending CMS reimbursement policy and supervision levels to match state licensure standards, RAs will be able to work more independently and be more efficient health care providers. The adoption of this language would enable radiologists to devote more focused time reviewing and interpreting complex medical images or urgent cases, and increasing patients’ access to care.

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 Medicare’s recognition of RAs, the profession is in peril. As a direct result of Medicare’s current policy RAs are losing their jobs and universities are on the verge of suspending or terminating their radiologist assistant programs.

ASRT members can stay up to date on this effort 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.

Call or write your  U.S. Senator or U.S. Representative, and ask them to support these bills!

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Steve Cohen – ASRT Secretary-Treasurer

I have worked in the field of radiography since 1972. I am employed at a large orthopedic surgery group in Indianapolis, Indiana. Currently, I am the Immediate Past President of the Indiana Society of Radiologic Technologists, Inc. I am also the Chairman of the Board of the ISRT. I have been a member of the ASRT since 1984. I am involved with many committees within this organization. Currently, I am on the ASRT Scanner Editorial Advisory Panel as a member. Also, I am a delegate with the Practice Standards Council Radiography Subcommittee, and a member of the Committee on R.T. Advocacy Region 6 Subcommittee. I will be chairman of the Radiography Chapter for 2016-2017. I truly believe that you must get involved to have an impact on what happens within our profession. This is why I have always been involved, whether it be with the Indiana society, or the ASRT.

I believe that you must be involved to have an impact on what happens within our profession, which is why I have always been involved, both with the Indiana Society of Radiologic Technologists and the ASRT. The top issue now is the declining membership numbers in the affiliates and the lack of interest in getting involved. As secretary-treasurer, I'll propose that we establish an affiliates workshop or seminar/roundtable, that brings together affiliate leaders and members to discuss and devise solutions for improving and strengthening the affiliates. Getting people involved is a critical element to success. If we don't advocate for our profession, who will? We MUST get involved at the local, state and federal levels if we are to protect our profession.

Getting people involved with whatever the issue might be at the time is important. When we had R.T. in D.C., we were able to get individuals excited about getting the CARE bill passed in Congress. Going to R.T. in D.C. every year and letting our congressmen and women know how important that bill was. Getting people to see that a certain issue will affect them. That usually gets people to act. By letting individuals know of the issue at hand and why it is important, and making sure that the participation for the advocacy effort will enhance their knowledge and how it will pertain to their profession. If we do not advocate for our profession, who will? So, this means getting involved at the local, state and federal level. If the issue will affect what you do, than you MUST get involved and protect your profession. Remember, PERSISTENCE is the key!

Congratulations, Steve!

For more information, read ASRT Announces Results of 2017 Election.

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