Mass. to probe MRI referrals

Authorities in Massachusetts will probe the local MRI business to investigate claims that some doctors are steering patients toward firms in which they own an interest. The inquiry was prompted by complaints by the largest MRI firm in the state, Shields Health Care Group, which says it has been hurt by doctor self-referrals. Sponsors of the investigation in the Massachusetts state senate say they want other apparent irregularities looked into. In some cases, doctors have been required to pay fees of up to $300,000 for the right to set up equipment. There also concerns that some physicians may be steering business to MRI centers across state lines in New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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