Legislative commitments in Sugar Land, Texas
Congressman Peter Graham Olson is the U.S. Representative for Texas’s 22nd congressional district. The district he represents includes the bigger part of southeastern Houston, as well as other cities including Sugar Land. According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologies (2017), the congressman, together with other colleagues, have partnered in introducing Senate Bill 769. The proposed bill, if passed, will enabled the alignment of the requirement for radiologist supervision under Medicare with state licensure laws for radiology services performed by RAs. This simply means that the RAs will be covered by the Medicare and therefore, their reimbursement will be catered even for duties executed without the supervision of a radiologist.
Currently, Medicare is not paying radiologist assistants for services they offer under the supervision of radiologists. These however does not seem to be fair not just to the RAs but also generally to the healthcare industry. There is a need to amend the policies governing the radiologist supervision levels for RAs in order to align with the state licensure laws. This should also include a review of the reimbursement criterion and policy. By doing this, RAs will be in a position to not just work independently but also efficiently in ensuring improved healthcare. Although the passing of this particular bill may not lead to complete solution to the ever-growing problem of patient access faced by the country today, the bill will however enable radiologist assistants to offer care to the their level best in respect to their unique training and scope of practice. This will subsequently help improve patient care and satisfaction while lowering the cost needed to meet patient needs.
In reference to Olson (2017), RAs are very crucial when it comes to healthcare. They help in covering up for the huge shortage in doctors the country is facing today together with reducing the cost of medical and improved services. The truth of the matter is that it will probably take years to cover for the shortage of doctors in the country. However, this shortage can be reduced through the readily available workforce of the RAs. This will not only save their jobs, but also improve the health care industry in the country with minimal cost.
Radiologist Assistants have a leading role when it comes to patient management as well as assessment. They also play a crucial role in determining whether the patient they are working with has been prepared appropriately for the required procedure. Ensuring that the patient has signed the consent before they undergo a procedure, responding to the concerns and questions of patients together with their families, and equally important adapting procedure protocols in order to enhance the quality of diagnostics are some other roles played by RAs. The radiologist assistant can also play the role of the patient advocate where they have to ensure that the patient receives quality care while undergoing their procedures.
The passing of this Bill will be very instrumental to the residents in Sugar Land and the state of Texas in general. It will allow the public access more efficient and reliable medical services while at the same time guarantee job opportunities for the RAs who are already in the job market as well as encourage the student who are undertaking the Radiology Assistant programs in the universities and colleges.
Sender Name Address
Congressman Pete Olson
MEDICARE ACCESS TO RADIOLOGY CARE ACT OF 2017
First, I take this opportunity to congratulate you and thank you for the good work you have been doing as a congressman. Your efforts and input in the community has positively transformed the lives of many, and this cannot go without being recognized. The purpose of this letter is to show support to the extensive effort and commitment you have displayed in supporting the Radiology Assistants (RA). This specifically refers to the current bill in congress regarding the recognition of the RAs by the Medicare. The “Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act of 2017” offers a wide range of benefits not just to the RAs but also to the public.
According to Baker (2014), the existing policy within the Medicare’s system seem not to favour the RAs. The majority of the RAs are already losing their jobs, cases have been reported of universities and other training institutions that are planning to suspend or completely discontinue the radiologist assistant programs. This is a very disturbing situation that needs urgent actions and step to ensure that this much needed profession within the health care does not wear off. It is important to note that RAs play a very crucial role that cannot be substituted.
Apart from the experience Radiologist assistants possess, we should not forget the fact that these individuals are also registered radiographers who have actually acquired additional education as well as certification that allows them to work in the capacity of radiologist extenders. Their input in the healthcare through the supervision of radiologist has enabled them to offer exceptional patient care services, especially in the diagnostic imaging. This has help boost the efficiency and effectiveness, especially in a time when medical imaging services are going through challenges. According to Demo et al (2015), RAs give radiologists a chance to focus on reviewing as well as interpreting sophisticated medical procedures and offering accurate diagnoses that will in the end guarantee efficient and reliable medical treatment.
In summary, the role of the RAs in the health care sector is very crucial and cannot be undermined. While there is still a lot that needs to be done, it will take single steps to achieve all these reforms and amendments. I urge you to continue pushing for improved working conditions of the healthcare center through legislation as the sector affects all the other industries in the country.