House introduces radiologist assistant bill

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Reps. Dave Reichert (R-WA), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Pete Olson (R-TX), and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) have introduced H.R. 1148, the “Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act of 2013.”

If passed, the bill would amend the Social Security Act to recognize radiologist assistants as non-physician providers of healthcare services to Medicare beneficiaries, and would authorize physician reimbursement through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for procedures performed by radiologist assistants in states that have laws establishing radiologist assistant practice guidelines.

The bill has received support from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, the American College of Radiology, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists and the Society of Radiology Physician Extenders. In a joint release issued by these professional associations, they emphasized the benefits provided by radiologists assistants, and argued that a reduced reimbursement level for the professional component of procedures performed by radiologist assistants should result in overall savings to the healthcare system.