stands for fair and honest practice in health care and appreciates the work and
findings of a recent report produced by the US Government Accountability Office
(GAO)," says APTA President Paul
Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS, in a statement on the "shocking" rates
of self-referred imaging services compared with non-self-referred services.
report, which was released last week and reported on in News
that self-referred magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) services increased by
approximately 84% from 2004 to 2010, whereas non-self-referred MRI services
only increased by roughly 12%. For computed tomography (CT) over the same
time period, the number of services performed by self-referrers increased by
approximately 107%, in contrast to an increase of roughly 30% by
significance is the finding that providers who began self-referring in 2009,
known as "switchers," increased MRI and CT referrals by an average of
67% in 2010. The GAO concluded that "financial incentives for
self-referring providers were likely a major factor driving the increase in referrals."
GAO report, the first of a series that will scrutinize the use of the IAOS
exception and self-referral, including in physical therapy, clearly shows that
such practices only serve to exponentially increase spending and, more
important, raise risks to beneficiaries," says Rockar.