The Practice of Imaging Self-Referral Doesn't Produce Much One-Stop Service
Health affairs (Project Hope) 2010 Dec; 29(12): 2237-43
Imaging as a result of self-referral-when a physician refers patients for imaging tests at a facility owned or leased by the same physician-is widespread. The practice has come under much scrutiny because it is associated with higher volumes of imaging services. Proponents of such self-referral argue that the practice offers patients convenient same-day, one-stop service and allows treatment to start sooner. Our analysis of 2006 and 2007 Medicare data showed that self-referral provided same-day imaging for 74 percent of straightforward x-rays, but for only 15 percent of more-advanced procedures such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. Policy makers attempting to make the use of imaging more responsible should consider narrowing Medicare's special provision allowing referrals to a physician's own practice so that the provision covers x-rays only.
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Hughes, Danny R; Sunshine, Jonathan H; Bhargavan, Mythreyi; Forman, Howard (2011-09)As the cost of both chronic care and diagnostic imaging continue to rise, it is important to consider methods of cost containment in these areas. Therefore, it seems important to study the relationship between self-referral ...
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