AUA, other specialist groups support reform of self-referral law

Mar 31, 2011

The AUA, the American Association of Clinical Urologists, and seven other specialty societies have joined forces to support legislation introduced in the Maryland General Assembly to amend the state?s current self-referral law, which the AUA says threatens to seriously restrict patient access to imaging and radiation therapy services.

The AUA, the American Association of Clinical Urologists, and seven other specialty societies have joined forces to support legislation introduced in the Maryland General Assembly to amend the state’s current self-referral law, which the AUA says threatens to seriously restrict patient access to imaging and radiation therapy services.

The groups issued a letter of testimony to Maryland Senator Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore City), chair of the Maryland Senate Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Committee, and state Delegate Peter A. Hammen (D-Baltimore City), chair of the Maryland House Health & Government Operations Committee.

The AUA issued the following statement in support of “Health Occupations–Imaging and Radiation Therapy Services Accreditation, (Senate Bill 808/House Bill 782):

"Maryland’s self-referral law was enacted nearly two decades ago and has not kept pace with the changes in health care practice that have come with the significant technological advances and improved standards of care. Today’s treating physician uses imaging technology to develop accurate and timely treatment plans for their patients that result in less costly, safer care.

"Passage of Senate Bill 808 and House Bill 782 will ensure that Maryland does not become the only state where patients are denied the option to receive imaging services from the provider of their choice, regardless of the location where services are performed, and where patients cannot receive cancer care in an integrated medical group setting. Our organizations are committed to patient choice and support the legislation’s provision requiring referring physicians to provide their patients with a choice of alternative providers within 25 miles of the referring physician’s practice.

"Maryland’s self-referral law represents a serious impediment to patient access to high-quality health services and must be amended to preserve patient access to timely treatment. Denying patients the option to receive imaging services from their provider of choice is a step backward, when we should be looking forward."