Calif. rep to propose Stark exception antidote

By staff writers

August 1, 2013 -- U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) plans to introduce legislation that would remove some healthcare services -- including advanced diagnostic imaging -- from the exemption to federal anti-self-referral laws.

Speier plans to introduce the Promoting Integrity in Medicare Act of 2013 (PIMA) at a press conference August 1. PIMA would eliminate diagnostic MRI, CT, PET, and other advanced diagnostic imaging services, as well as anatomic pathology, radiation oncology, and physical therapy, from the in-office ancillary exception that is part of the Stark law banning physician referral to entities in which they have a financial interest.

The exception is not necessary because these services are rarely provided on the same day as the initial office visit, according to Speier.

PIMA is Speier's second attempt at closing the in-office ancillary exception. In 2011, she introduced the Integrity in Medicare Advanced Diagnostic Imaging Act (HR 1476), but the bill did not advance past the committee stage.

Copyright © 2013

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