Federal bill would put an end to in-office radiology self-referrals

Newly introduced legislation in the U.S. congress would end an in-office exemption pertaining to anti-self referral laws for diagnostic imaging services.

The bill, known as the Promoting Integrity in Medicare Act (PIMA) and introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), would prevent doctors from self-referring patients for services performed inside their offices, including advanced imaging, radiotherapy and pathology, which is currently allowed under certain provisions included in the Stark law.

“How many GAO studies outlining the abuse and billions of dollars of Medicare reimbursement to doctors for unnecessary services that are driven purely for personal profit does it take to shut this activity down?” Rep. Speier asked in a statement. “This is a golden opportunity to put patient health and program health over profits. We should always work to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of government programs—this bill will save taxpayers money and help seniors who depend on Medicare for their quality of life.”