Push for self-referral restrictions not going away

April 15, 2013

A coalition that includes the American College of Radiology and the American Society for Radiation Oncology is praising a segment of President Obama’s proposed fiscal year 2014 budget recommending the exclusion of radiation therapy, advanced imaging, and therapy services from the Stark law’s in-office ancillary services (IOAS) exception.

A coalition that includes the American College of Radiology and the American Society for Radiation Oncology is praising a segment of President Obama’s proposed fiscal year 2014 budget recommending the exclusion of radiation therapy, advanced imaging, and therapy services from the Stark law’s in-office ancillary services (IOAS) exception.

In a statement, the Alliance for Integrity in Medicare (AIM) said it "applauds the administration’s FY 2014 budget for recommending the exclusion of radiation therapy, advanced imaging, and therapy services from the IOAS, except in cases where a practice meets 'certain accountability standards, as defined by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.' "

The Office of Management and the Budget estimates that closing the loophole for these services would save $6.1 billion over the standard 10-year budget window, according to the statement. The coalition went a step further by recommending the addition of anatomic pathology services to the list of excluded services.

"AIM strongly urges Congress to build upon the recommendations of the Administration and pass legislation to remove advanced diagnostic imaging, anatomic pathology, radiation therapy, and physical therapy from the IOAS exception in the 113th Congress.

"Reforming this policy will ensure that Medicare patients receive the highest quality and safest health care most appropriate to their needs, and Medicare policy incentives are properly aligned-a positive for beneficiaries, providers, and all other Americans," the coalition said.

The Alliance for Integrity in Medicare also includes the American Clinical Laboratory Association, the American Physical Therapy Association, the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the Association for Quality Imaging, the College of American Pathologists, and the Radiology Business Management Association.

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