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The Administrative Rules Division of Michigan is recommending the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration adopt American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) standards for staff members who take x-ray images. Currently, Michigan does not require specific training for non-exempted x-ray techs—being one of approximately 10 states that allows urgent care (UC) employers to provide their own on-the-job training.  However,  if the ARRT proposal is adopted, x-ray techs would need an associate’s degree from an approved institution and a passing grade on a comprehensive exam. There’s no indication yet whether currently working techs would be grandfathered in with today’s standard or would be required to pass the exam to keep their jobs. Setting a higher bar is likely to put even more pressure on staffing at urgent care centers that rely on steady revenue from radiology services, while simultaneously driving up their payroll costs.

Where they’re going with this: Advocates for the new qualifications say they want to improve safety and reduce the number of retakes. Alan Ayers, MBA, MAcc, president of Experity Networks and Practice Management Editor of JUCM, says, “Modern digital x-ray equipment used in urgent care centers is safe and easy to use. The basis of the rule change is theoretical and unsupported by data.” Ayers also says the change disproportionately affects independent UC operators, as large institutions already require such standards for x-ray techs.

How Proposed Michigan Rule Reduces the Pool of X-ray Techs
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