The American College of Radiology (ACR) has joined 48 other physician specialty societies and 48 state medical associations in signing a letter from the American Medical Association (AMA) to oppose the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA’s) proposed expanded scope of practice for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) within the VA health care system.
The AMA letter, which the ACR cosigned on July 22, was addressed to VA Undersecretary for Health David Shulkin, MD. It emphasizes the years of education and training physicians undergo to be professionally equipped to handle the type of highly complex cases frequently encountered when treating military veterans. It expresses concern that the VA proposal would undermine state law and argues that existing data does not prove that APRNs working independently provide the same quality of care as medical doctors.
Among its various steps to expand clinical privileges for APRNs, the proposed rule, released on May 25, would expand the scope of practice for APRNs to include ordering, interpreting, supervising and performing imaging services. The ACR transmitted its own letter on July 7 to Undersecretary Skulkin to express deep concern about the plan’s deleterious implications for veterans’ health.