June 25, 2020

ACR Opposes Relaxed NPP Supervision in CMS COVID-19 Interim Final Rule

The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) submitted official comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) June 19 recommending against relaxed supervision requirements for non-physician providers (NPPs) in its COVID-19 public health emergency interim final rule.

In its letter, the ACR expressed opposition to relaxing specifications in the basic rule that assure an appropriate level of physician supervision when diagnostic tests are performed during the public health emergency (PHE) by nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, physician assistants and certified nurse-midwives.

The College disagreed with CMS’ decision to amend regulations to allow diagnostic tests by a physician assistant without physician supervision when authorization to perform the tests is covered by applicable state law. The ACR argued that relaxing these policies would result in reduced patient safety and quality care. It urges CMS to return to the previous policy of allowing only physicians to supervise diagnostic tests.

Additionally, the ACR provided feedback on the future of telehealth services after the conclusion of the COVID-19 PHE. The ACR asked for a resource-based calculation of all Medicare telehealth services payments rates, with the resulting appropriate work-relative value units reflecting time and intensity.

The ACR will continue to monitor the development of these provisions. If you have any questions, email Katie Keysor at kkeysor@acr.org.