Dr. Gerry Cvitanovich of Ochsner Health and Dr. Kevin DiBenedetto of Premier Health, two physicians who have been practicing Urgent Care in Louisiana, recently joined forces to address one of the most pressing issues in Urgent Care: Limited Scope X-Ray requirements. With the help of UCA and Control the Dose, they were able to successfully update the state requirements.
There is a substantial shortage of X-ray techs across the healthcare system (including those enrolling in radiologic technology degree programs) and this shortage severely affects smaller and more independent practices, often leading to the limitation of radiology services. This adds a financial burden on the entire healthcare system – and potentially forces a compromise of patient care.
Cvitanovich and DiBenedetto worked with the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners to update the regulations for Limited Scope X-Ray, including new course approval and approval for remote physician supervision (vs. direct, in-house supervision.)
The doctors called the president of the board and asked how they could get a new Limited Scope X-Ray curriculum approved. They shared the Control the Dose program with the board, and the board quickly agreed it was an excellent program to train limited scope personnel.
“Control the Dose had done such a good job in their demo and presentation to the board that its approval was a done deal,” Cvitanovich said.
“It worked out perfectly that UCA partnered with Control the Dose, so we can say we have a very legitimate training program with a track record of success on the national level,” DiBenedetto said.
The next step was trying to get approval for remote supervision. The doctors contacted the board again, and wrote a letter, explaining that they have been practicing telemedicine for years. The capability to supervise remotely was not a problem within Urgent Care and should extend to X-ray supervision. They continued with their education of how big of an issue the X-ray tech shortage is in Urgent Care and made it clear that working to get approval for remote supervision was not a financial decision, but a patient care decision, as most Urgent Care centers are staffed by Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) and in Louisiana, APPs cannot supervise a Limited Scope X-ray technologist. Remote physician supervision with the current telemedicine technology already in place would make this a practical and safe model.
“We simply do not have consistent X-ray capabilities, and that’s not good patient care,” Cvitanovich said. “We use telemedicine so much for so many things now, it only made sense that we should be able to supervise the X-ray techs when needed by telemedicine.”
This success satisfies a large need in Urgent Care services in Louisiana. The path to approval was neither long nor difficult for these doctors in Louisiana; with the help of Control the Dose we can expand Limited Scope X-Ray Licensing across the country.