Meeting with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
The SRPE, represented by Jason Barrett, ACR, and ARRT met with staff of CMS on September 8th to discuss physician supervision levels for RAs (RRAs and RPAs). The purpose of the meeting was to urge CMS to enable radiologists to utilize the RAs under a lower physician supervision standard for services which involve supervision levels, instead of the current "personal" level of supervision, by creating a modifier or by whatever mechanism CMS deems appropriate. The organizations expressed the RA’s education, training, and experience enables the RA to provide a higher level of service to radiologists and their patients, but this higher level of service can be meaningful only if it frees the physician from unnecessarily having to be present in the same room as the RA.
Stakeholders also expressed that we are NOT asking for billing status for the RA and we are not asking for higher levels of reimbursement to physicians who employ RAs. CMS requested some additional information and we are preparing the proposed rule for inclusion in next year’s federal register. The first we should hear from CMS in May or June 2017.
Nominations for SRPE Vice President and Secretary are now open!
Qualifications: All officers of the Society shall be active voting members for a continuous uninterrupted three (3) year period; hold the credentials RPA and in be in good standing with the Certifying Board for Radiology Physician Assistants and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists; and/or hold the credentials RRA and in be in good standing with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
Term: Officers shall serve for a term of two (2) years or until a successor has been elected or appointed. Officers shall surrender to a successor all records and properties belonging to the Society. All officers may be re-elected. Term starts January 1, 2017.
Duties: The Vice-President shall acquaint himself/herself with all of the duties of the President. In the absence of the President, he/she shall assume the duties of the President.
Duties: The Secretary shall keep a correct and permanent record of the membership, conduct correspondence, and perform all duties which usually and customarily pertains to the office of Secretary.
Please considering nominating an individual (or yourself), who meets the qualifications and would be a wonderful addition to the SRPE Leadership. Nominations will be accepted until September 30, 2016.
Call for Proposed Bylaw Changes
The SRPE Board is calling for proposed changes to the current bylaws. The proposed changes to the bylaws will be referred to a committee and committee approved bylaw changes will be posted on the SRPE website and emailed to members in February for members to review prior to the Annual Conference. Amendments to the Bylaws will be voted upon at the Business meeting at the SRPE Annual Conference. Click here to see the current SRPE bylaws.
Senator Boozman at UAMS to Support Radiologist Assistants
July 29, 2016 | U.S. Sen. John Boozman said Friday at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) that legislation he is sponsoring in Congress would increase patient access to care by allowing radiologist assistants to be reimbursed for certain procedures that have traditionally been performed by radiologists.
The Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act (MARCA) would recognize radiologist assistants, including certified radiology practitioner assistants, as non-physician providers of health care services and allow reimbursement for their services. Currently, Medicare only pays for such services if they are performed under the personal supervision of a radiologist.
“We simply have to figure out how we can extend professionals as far as they can go,” Boozman said. “You have to be able to practice to the fullest extent of your ability and the licensure of your state, because we are rapidly losing providers for all kinds of different reasons, and then again, we’re rapidly increasing patients.”
The legislation would allow radiologist assistants to work more independently and efficiently and allow radiologists to focus on reviewing and interpreting complex medical images and attending to urgent cases.
UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D., said the change would enable radiology staff to function at the top of their licensure.
“That’s one of our principles for health system redesign and team-based care – is that each person’s time and effort is matched with the level of training required to do what they do … and we should have a framework that financially recognizes the benefit to patients and to the system as a whole,” Rahn said.
The UAMS College of Health Professions has one of only six radiologist assistant programs in the United States. Since 2005, the college’s Radiologic Imaging Sciences/Radiologist Assistant program has graduated 41 radiologist assistants, who have advanced training to perform procedures traditionally performed by radiologists.
“Thank you, Sen. Boozman, for your leadership in sponsoring MARCA,” said Douglas Murphy, Ph.D., dean of the UAMS College of Health Professions.
Also thanking Boozman were James McDonald, M.D., interim chair of the Department of Radiology in the UAMS College of Medicine; and Cindy Saylors, M.Ed., director of the UAMS Radiologist Assistant Program.
By Amy Widner| July 29th, 2016