Radiologist assistant reimbursement bill introduced in House

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Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) has introduced HR 1148, The Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act of 2013.

The bill would recognize radiologist assistants (RAs) as non-physician providers of services to Medicare beneficiaries and allow RAs to perform services, where authorized, under “direct supervision” as opposed to “personal supervision”—meaning the supervising radiologist can simply be in-office, but does not need to be physically present in the procedure room.

RAs still would be prohibited from interpreting results under HR 1148.

The bill also would authorize reimbursement for procedures performed by RAs through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in states with RA practice guideline laws. RAs would receive 85 percent of the professional component payment normally provided to the radiologist.

The American College of Radiology, American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, American Society of Radiologic Technologists and Society of Radiology Physician Extenders support the bill.