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ASRT September 2018 legislative and regulatory update

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | September 26, 2018 Rad Oncology Radiation Therapy X-Ray
ASRT is working for you to track and take action on the following state and federal legislative and regulatory activities:

The Alaska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Georgia, Missouri, Alabama and Pennsylvania ASRT affiliate societies are preparing for their 2019 state legislative sessions where they all expect to see licensure bills introduced. ASRT is working closely with each affiliate society to ensure that they have the tools and support to successfully educate lawmakers about the need to have licensed radiologic technologists perform medical imaging and radiation therapy procedures.

The Nevada Society of Radiologic Technologists expects to have a licensure bill introduced at the start of its 2019 legislative session. The NVSRT has secured a bill sponsor and is working on finalizing the bill’s language prior to its introduction in February 2019.

The Oklahoma Society of Radiologic Technologists expects to have a licensure bill introduced immediately after the start of the 2019 Oklahoma legislative session in January. The bill’s language is complete and the OKSRT has secured a bill sponsor. In addition, ASRT and the OKSRT provided testimony in support of the bill at a pre-session Senate Committee hearing on Sept. 20.

ASRT expects to see a Congressional Budget Office score for the Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act this fall. The CBO score will determine if MARCA is a measure that results in cost savings or cost additions. MARCA legislation, Senate Bill 769 and House Resolution 1904, amends Medicare reimbursement policy and supervision levels for radiologist assistants to align them with state radiologist assistant laws.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently distributed proposed regulations for personnel operating portable medical devices. The rule enumerates three categories in which CMS proposes to eliminate burdens on providers: (1) proposals that simplify and streamline processes; (2) proposals that reduce the frequency of activities and revise timelines; and (3) proposals that are obsolete, duplicative, or that contain unnecessary requirements. Pertinent to ASRT, the items listed as “Personnel Requirements for Portable X-Ray Technologists” and “Portable X-Ray Requirements for Orders” both fall under the first category. According to the rule’s cost/benefit analysis, CMS believes that portable x-ray services affect 500 entities and their proposals regarding the qualifications of x-ray personnel and removing written orders will save $31 million and $29 million respectfully.
Regarding portable x-ray services, CMS believes that a technologist meeting any one of four training and education requirements as a condition for coverage is unnecessary. Instead, CMS wants to focus on the qualifications of the individual performing services as permitted by state law. Importantly, CMS also makes clear that this change would not preclude state licensure entities from establishing requirements that are more stringent than the proposed federal requirements.

ASRT opposes certain measures in the proposed rule. As a result, ASRT will provide comments to request language changes and correct inaccurate information.

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