Morris Auster, Esq.                                           Division of Governmental Affairs

Senior Vice President /                                               MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT
Chief Legislative Counsel

IN SENATE HIGHER                                     S.3570-A (VALESKY)

IN ASSEMBLY HIGHER                               A.5963-A (MAGEE)

AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to cardiovascular technologists

This bill would amend the Public Health Law to recognize the practice of the Cardiovascular Technologists (CVTs) and to authorize the administration of contrast materials during cardiovascular interventional procedures, under the personal supervision of a physician. The Medical Society of the State of New York supports this legislation.

This legislation is necessary to recognize the essential services that CVTs provide.  CVTs assist physicians in technical procedures for cardiac catheterizations and interventions. Their tasks include patient preparation, hemodynamic monitoring, vascular access site management and first assistant.   Specifically, CVTs assist the physician with insertion of contrast material during a diagnostic or interventional procedure.  In these procedures, contrast materials are used to improve images produced by x-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound. The most common contrast materials used in cardiovascular procedures is a non-ionic radiopaque contrast medium, which will enhance fluoroscopy or cineradiography (moving x-rays). The physician will insert a line, or an IV, into the patient’s artery, which will then be used to insert the contrast using a syringe. When administered in this manner during a cardiovascular procedure, the contrast material allows the physician to locate and visualize the targeted sites in real time.    

The issue that this legislation seeks to address is that some have interpreted existing laws as preventing CVTs from assisting the cardiac physician in providing these essential services.  If CVTs are unable to perform these functions, it would greatly impair the ability of physicians and hospitals to efficiently provide patients with needed, often life-saving, cardiac care that is routinely provided in hospitals all across New York State.   The legislation would ensure that all activity performed by CVTs during these cardiovascular interventions would be strictly under a physician's personal supervision, which means the physician must be physically in the room when the services are being performed.  

Based on the foregoing, the Medical Society of the State of New York supports this legislation and urges its enactment.


                                                                  Respectfully submitted,

      MMA                                                         MSSNY DIVISION OF GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS