Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, On the Job, Scope of Practice

Medical Assistants’ Role in RPM Services

Medical assistants meet the criteria for clinical staff for several well-known programs (the Medicare Chronic Care Management (CCM) and Transitional Care Management (TCM) programs and the Medicare appropriate use criteria program for advanced diagnostic imaging services). But what is medical assistants’ scope of practice for other services, such as remote physiologic monitoring (RPM) services?

To answer this question, review relevant information from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code structure and several general legal principles presented in the March/April 2020 Public Affairs article, “Medical Assistants’ Role in Remote Physiologic Monitoring Services,” on the AAMA website.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, delegation, On the Job, Professional Identity

Appropriate Use Criteria Program: CMAs (AAMA)® Meet Clinical Staff Criteria under the CMS Rule

In the Public Affairs article of the March/April 2018 CMA Today, I argued that “appropriately educated and credentialed medical assistants” such as CMAs (AAMA)® are clinical staff under the Medicare Chronic Care Management (CCM) and Transitional Care Management (TCM) programs.

I now add that CMAs (AAMA) are also clinical staff according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rule regarding the appropriate use criteria (AUC) program. Therefore, as a result of their clinical staff status, I assert that CMAs (AAMA) are permitted to do the following:

  1. Consult a clinical decision support mechanism (CDSM) about the appropriateness of ordering a particular advanced diagnostic imaging service
  2. Report findings to their overseeing or delegating licensed providers

Review the supporting evidence in the September/October 2019 Public Affairs article, “Appropriate Use Criteria Program,” on the AAMA website.