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  • APTA Statement: GAO Report a 'Huge Step Forward' in Exposing Abuse in Self-referral

    "APTA 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.

    The report, which was released last week and reported on in News Now, found 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 non-self-referrers.

    Also of 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."  

    "The 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.

    PTs Unite to Raise Money for Colleagues Affected by Hurricane Sandy

    A consortium of physical therapy groups including Evidence In Motion, E-Rehab, BreakThrough Physical Therapy, PT Development, the Physical Therapy Business Alliance, Private Practice Section, Physical Therapy Provider Network, and a host of individual physical therapists (PTs) around the country are leading relief efforts to help PTs and physical therapy clinics devastated by Hurricane Sandy. 

    The group's relief project, HelpingPTs.org, is collecting donations, equipment, and supplies to help colleagues quickly recover from the devastation so they can get back to treating people affected by the storm and patients.

    Donation checks also can be sent to HelpingPTs.org, 13000 Equity Place, Suite 105, Louisville, Kentucky  40223.