Societies respond to GAO report on self-referral rates for imaging

In late October professional societies penned official responses to a report from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) that found self-referral rates for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) have skyrocketed in recent years, with MRI self-referral rates rising 80% from 2004 to 2010, compared with 12% for non-self-referred MRI services. The GAO report estimated that additional referrals cost Medicare about $109 million and could pose “unacceptable risks” for patients, including an increased risk of cancer in patients exposed to ionizing radiation.

In late October professional societies penned official responses to a report from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) that found self-referral rates for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) have skyrocketed in recent years, with MRI self-referral rates rising 80% from 2004 to 2010, compared with 12% for non-self-referred MRI services. The GAO report estimated that additional referrals cost Medicare about $109 million and could pose “unacceptable risks” for patients, including an increased risk of cancer in patients exposed to ionizing radiation.

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Societies respond to GAO report on self-referral rates for imaging