Self-Referral Bill Reintroduced In Congress

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imageCongresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) earlier this week reintroduced to the U.S. House of Representatives the Integrity in Medicare Advance Diagnostic Imaging Act of 2011 (HR 1476), which seeks to close the in-office ancillary service exception (IOASE) for advanced imaging services such as MR, CT and PET. Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) was an original co-sponsor of the bill as introduced in the 111th Congress.  In her introduction of the bill, Speir says the financial interest of physicians should not be a determining factor in prescribing care for patients. “It is terrible to think that this loophole is being abused to enrich doctors while their patients are being unnecessarily exposed to radiation,” she notes. “This bill puts patients first and potentially saves the government billions of dollars in wasteful expenditures. ”

A statement issued by the American College of Radiology (ACR) indicates its strong support of Congresswoman Speier’s efforts and expresses thanks to Congressman Weiner for co-sponsoring the bill. “The College will continue to work with” Congress to “gather more co-sponsors in the hope of enacting this common-sense legislation,” the statement says.