CMS relaxes rule on radiologists for ASCs

Reduced burden for surgery center staffing - 5/9/2014

On May 8, 2014, the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (www.ascassociation.org) announced on its Website:  “Victory for ASCs: CMS Removes Burdensome Radiologist Requirement

In the CMS final rule, the revised regulation text at §416.49(b)(2) has been changed from “A doctor of medicine or osteopathy who is qualified by education and experience in accordance with State law and ASC policy must supervise the provision of radiologic services” to “If radiologic services are utilized, the governing body must appoint an individual qualified in accordance with State law and ASC policies who is responsible for assuring that all radiologic services are provided in accordance with the requirements of this section.”

The appointed individual would be responsible for assuring compliance with the provisions of §482.26(b), (c)(2), and (d)(2). Note that the referenced provisions address requirements related to safety for patients and personnel, such as use of precautions against radiation hazards (shielding, and appropriate storage, use, and disposal of radioactive materials); regular equipment inspection and hazard correction; regular review of radiation workers for the amount of radiation exposure; use of radiologic equipment only by qualified personnel; and maintenance of imaging results or records.

The appointed individual could be someone already working in the ASC who is qualified in accordance with State law and ASC policies. The ASC’s governing body will continue to be required to ensure, through the credentialing and privileging process, that the operating surgeon is competent to perform procedures in the ASC safely when using imaging as an integral part of the surgical procedure.

The revised CfC is:

§416.49 Condition for coverage—Laboratory and radiologic services.

(b) Standard: Radiologic services.

(1) Radiologic services may only be provided when integral to procedures offered by the ASC and must meet the requirements specified in §482.26(b), (c)(2), and (d)(2) of this chapter.

(2) If radiologic services are utilized, the governing body must appoint an individual qualified in accordance with State law and ASC policies who is responsible for assuring all radiologic services are provided in accordance with the requirements of this section.

The rule is scheduled to be published on Monday, May 12, 2014, and the change becomes effective 60 days after publication.

To read the CMS final rule, click here.

Media Contact

Mary Wei, Assistant Director - Surgical Care
847.324.7745 

Michon Villanueva, Director, Accreditation Services
847.853.6063