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Add radiology assistants to Medicare?

11:54 am May 10th, 2013

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert is one of the prime backers of legislation in Congress that would allow for Medicare coverage of qualified radiology assistant services.
The Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act, if passed into law, would improve patient care and preserve jobs of radiology assistants (RAs), according to Reichert, a Republican whose 8th District constituency includes eastern Pierce and King counties.
“RAs are highly trained and skilled professionals who have mastered complex technologies and understand how to best serve radiology patients in a safe and effective manner,” said Reichert. “Making certain that their services are covered by Medicare is merely common sense, and passage of this legislation would play an essential role in improving and increasing patient access to radiology services.”
Reichert introduced the legislation in tandem with Reps. Jim Matheson of Utah, Pete Olson of Texas and Bill Pascrell of New Jersey. Matheson and Pacrell are Democrats. Olson is a Republican.
The legislation is supported by more than 40 local and national healthcare-related groups, including the American College of Radiology, the American Registry of Radiologist Technologists, American Society of Radiologic Technologists and the Society of Radiology Physician Extenders. 
Reichert said a radiologist in Enumclaw has lauded the legislation for its proposal to allow Medicare patients “access to the same level of high-quality imaging services that other patients receive.”  
Radiologists use imaging technologies – such as X-ray radiography, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine, positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – to diagnose or treat diseases.

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