The American College of Radiology Association (ACRA) has established the Scope-of-Practice (SOP) Fund to safeguard patients and patient access to radiologist expertise by fighting state and federal non-physician SOP expansion legislation. The new SOP fund, with its initial $225,000 in funding, will be used in conjunction with state radiological societies to proactively educate lawmakers and counter future scope threats to patient safety.

Non-physician provider societies, specifically for Advanced Practice RNs (APRN) and Physician Assistants (PAs), have ramped up their fight to increase their members’ SOP and gain independent practice—particularly at the state level. State and national agencies have encouraged use of these physician extenders—especially during the COVID-19 public health emergency. This must be countered.

“Increased PA and NP scope of practice and autonomy may impact care and limit patient access to radiologists and radiologist-led teams. Radiologists are uniquely educated, trained and qualified to practice radiology,” says Howard B. Fleishon, MD, MMM, FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors. “PAs and NPs do not have comparable training, competence or experience. They should not independently supervise or interpret imaging exams.”

The new fund will bolster ACR national and state chapter involvement in scope-of-practice legislative, regulatory and legal activities. As part of this strategy, funds will be used to partner with other physician specialty or state medical societies to amplify the message of patient safety first.

“The ACR is committed to protecting the quality of radiological care through aggressive advocacy in support of physician-led healthcare—specifically the radiologist-led imaging team. This fund is an important commitment to help us in this fight,” says Fleishon.

The ACR will provide members with more information regarding the SOP fund in the coming weeks and months. For more information on ACR scope-of-practice activities, visit the ACR SOP microsite.