ACR Backs GAO Finding that Self-Referral Increases Imaging Use

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The American College of Radiology (ACR) made its position on self referral quite clear when Paul H. Ellenbogen, MD, FACR, chair of its Board of Chancellors, submitted a public comment letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) applauding their publication of research finding higher use of advanced diagnostic imaging among providers who self refer. The OIG’s estimated that allowing physicians to engage in self-referral practices that create a financial incentive to order additional imaging services could be costing Medicare millions, as well as harming Medicare patients who receive higher than necessary doses of radiation from unnecessary scanning. (Read more here.) The ACR's letter “applauds the data, analysis and conclusion of the GAO response, refutes many of the rebuttals provided by HHS and urges policymakers to immediately enact policies that incentivize the use of appropriateness criteria as the primary way to curb abuse of advanced diagnostic imaging services as a result of physician self-referral,” the organization stated on its website.