Grassley to introduce imaging self-referral bill

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) plans to introduce a bill that he says would cast a spotlight on physicians' financial incentives to order imaging services. The bill, which will be called the Medicare Imaging Disclosure Sunshine Act of 2008, will require doctors to disclose any interest in imaging services at the time of referral. The bill would also require doctors to offer Medicare beneficiaries a list of alternative providers. 

In making his announcement regarding the bill, Grassley noted that a GAO report concluded that Medicare Part B spending on imaging has more than doubled between 2000 and 2006 to about $14.1 billion. He also noted that imaging spending varies dramatically from state to state, with Medicare spending $62 per beneficiary on in-office imaging in Vermont, while it spends $472 per beneficiary in Florida. In his view, that suggests that some regions overuse imaging services.

To learn more about this bill:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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