AUA releases in-office ancillary services policy

January 21, 2013

The AUA has issued a new policy for urologists providing in-office ancillary services.

The AUA has issued a new policy for urologists providing in-office ancillary services.

The policy, approved by the AUA Board of Directors, outlines the organization’s guiding principles for urologists who provide ancillary services such as imaging or intensity-modulated radiation therapy in which they have an ownership interest. Such arrangements are protected in an exception to the "Stark law," which regulates physician self-referral.

"These services exist to improve patient care through physician oversight of the quality of care and can help integrate and coordinate the patient treatment plan. The AUA believes that urologists should be allowed to offer such services in accordance with current federal and state regulations," the AUA states in the policy.

The AUA outlines several "ethical guiding principles for urology practices with ownership of in-office ancillary services":

  • Patients should be provided with informed consent about their condition and all appropriate options.

  • Patients should be advised that they are entitled to seek a second opinion from another licensed health care provider specializing in their disease or area of treatment (eg, radiologist, pathologist, oncologist) in accordance with the principles of shared decision making.

  • All treatment advice or referrals should be based on objective and medically acceptable and supported recommendations.

  • Referral to an in-office ancillary service should be transparent and in the patient’s best interest.

 

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