I feel this is necessary. As Health care organizations continue to expand and purchase smaller more rural hospitals Radiology groups cannot physically be present and frequently opt to read remotely. Allowing the Radiology Assistant this rule change will expand the ability for rural areas to get fluoroscopic studies performed in their local hospital as opposed to driving to a large center frequently a good distance away. This rule amendment aligns with the scope of the RA and would be a positive move for the profession.
As a practicing RA I think this is long overdue.
I support changing the regulations of the Radiologist Assistant to allow supervision of diagnostic procedures ( fluoroscopy ) and minimally invasive needle procedures to "general" or remote supervision. Currently the regulations read that the Radiologist must be "in the building" in order to supervise the Radiologist Assistant. Changing the regulations would provide greater flexibility in scheduling for more rural healthcare settings and provide greater access to care for our community. With the nationwide shortage of Radiologists, optimizing the use of the resources we have is imperative to keep up with the growing demand. It is important to emphasize that all studies performed by the Radiologist Assistant are reviewed with the Supervising Radiologist before the Physician provides the final interpretation.
I encourage the board to amend the Radiologist Assistant Rules and Regulations to allow for general supervision for diagnostic imaging and minimally invasive needle procedures so we can provide greater access to care for our community.
Re: Medical Society of Virginia (MSV) Comment Regarding Regulations Governing the Licensure of Radiologic Technology [18 VAC 85 ? 101]
Jun 19, 2023
Dear Dr Harp,
The Medical Society of Virginia (MSV) strongly supports proven efforts to expand healthcare access while maintaining the highest standard of patient care. Unfortunately, any effort to allow for remote supervision of Radiologist Assistants fails to clear that hurdle—and as such, the MSV must oppose this petition.
Virginia’s PAs, medical students, and physicians know firsthand how complicated even “minimally invasive procedures” can be. And the fact the petitioner fails to define such procedures gives the MSV great concern regarding potential patient safety issues. Any medical procedure carries risk. When serious complications arise (and they inevitably will) patients deserve an immediate response by a practicing physician with clinical judgment based on years of clinical experience.
Plainly, we are concerned this proposal will lower Virginia’s high standard of patient care and increase the potential risk to Virginia patients.
The petition as written must be opposed, but the MSV stands ready to work with all stakeholders to increase healthcare access and empower the Commonwealth’s healthcare workforce.
Assistant Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy
Medical Society of Virginia
June 19, 2023
Re: Regulations Governing the Licensure of Radiologic Technology [18 VAC 85 ? 101]
Dear Dr. Harp,
On behalf of the Virginia Radiological Society, we would like to express our appreciation for the opportunity to provide comment on the petition. The petition seeks to allow for remote supervision of Radiologist Assistants for minimally invasive procedures and diagnostic imaging. We value the work of Radiologist Assistants and recognize the valuable role they play in the patient care team. However, we must oppose the petition for the following reasons. The petitioner leaves "minimally invasive procedures" undefined. Even minimally invasive procedures can have serious complications that would require the attention of a Radiologist. Adverse reaction to contrast being but one example. Additionally, the petition represents a significant shift in how Radiologist Assistants are currently supervised.
While we are in opposition to the petition currently, we would be more than willing to explore this issue with the petitioner, the professional associations representing Radiologist Assistants, and other interested parties.
Thank you again for the opportunity to comment.
Arun Krishnaraj, MD, FACR
President | Virginia Radiological Society
Richard A. Szucs, MD, FACR
Legislative Committee Chair | Virginia Radiological Society
Clarification of "minimally invasive procedures"
Dear Dr. Harp and the Virginia Board of Medicine,
The American Society of Radiologic Technologists is the premier association for the medical imaging and radiation therapy profession, with nearly 156,000 members nationally including 4,245 members in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
ASRT’s main mission as an organization is to advocate for patient safety by ensuring the technologists providing care remain within their scope of practice and under appropriate clinical supervision. With this mission in mind, I am writing to express concerns over the petition to allow for remote supervision of minimally invasive procedures and diagnostic procedures.
The main concern is over the lack of definition for what procedures would be classified as minimally invasive. Additionally, a radiologist assistant does not have the practice authority to work autonomously. With these concerns, we propose the following wording to balance concerns and accessibility.
Recommendation “A radiologist assistant may provide imaging services that do not require informed patient consent under the remote supervision of a radiologist. If a supervising radiologist is not physically present at the location at which a radiologist assistant is practicing, the radiologist assistant shall provide services for any procedure requiring informed consent only when a physician licensed pursuant to 18VAC85-20, who need not be a radiologist, is physically present at the location and would be responsible for providing intervention or assistance in the event of a medical emergency.”
I look forward to working with you as the Department of Health Professions evaluates this petition to amend. ASRT is happy to be a resource on all things related to the medical imaging and radiation therapy professions.
Meredith Check, MPP
Manager of Government Relations and Public Policy