On behalf of the AMA, an independent actuarial firm conducted a study on in-office ancillary service trends in the Medicare fee-for-service population, examining Medicare claims for certain services that had recently received U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) scrutiny for possible overutilization and higher costs due to “self-referrals.” Results show no significant increases in use or costs and that movement to limit self-referral might actually result in increased costs.
Physicians recommend a range of services for their patients. In many cases, these involve using equipment or personnel in those physicians’ practices.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office conducted several studies of self-referred services subject to the in-office ancillary services exception (IOASE) to the Stark Law. GAO used data from 2004 to 2010. Although none of the GAO studies suggested repealing the IOASE, such proposals have been made by members of Congress and the Administration.