The Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act of 2017 was introduced by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) as H.R. 1904. This bill will enact a law that amends Medicare reimbursement policy and supervision levels for radiologist assistants to align them with state radiologist assistant laws.
The Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act (MARCA) will enable radiologist assistants to work under relaxed supervision levels and be more efficient health care providers. Passage of the bill will allow radiologists to devote more focused time reviewing and interpreting complex medical images or urgent cases, thus increasing access to care.
Radiologist assistants have advanced education and clinical experience, and can expertly and safely perform radiologic assessments and certain procedures that traditionally are performed only by radiologists. Without Medicare's recognition of radiologist assistants, the profession is in peril. As a direct result of Medicare's current policy, radiologist assistants are losing their jobs and universities are on the verge of suspending or terminating their educational programs.
All Washington radiologic technologists can help by contacting their congressional representative and asking him or her to cosponsor H.R. 1904. Urge your representative to reach out to House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi asking that he schedule a hearing on MARCA as soon as possible. This is easy to do by using ASRT's Advocacy Action Center to learn more about the MARCA bill and sending a customizable message.
As a fellow Washington R.T. I appreciate your help in reaching out to your congressman to make these requests by using the ASRT Advocacy Action Center during National Radiologic Technology Week and making your professional voice heard.
Amanda Garlock, M.S., R.T.(R)(MR)