Medicare:

Physicians Who Invest in Imaging Centers Refer More Patients for More Costly Services

T-HRD-93-14: Published: Apr 20, 1993. Publicly Released: Apr 20, 1993.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO discussed the effect on health care utilization and costs when physicians invest in medical facilities and then refer their patients to those facilities. GAO noted that: (1) in 1990, physicians had invested in all but one of the 39 freestanding magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) centers in Florida; (2) 3,000 Florida physicians had a financial interest in a freestanding imaging center; (3) physician owners of Florida diagnostic imaging facilities had higher referral rates for all types of imaging services than nonowners; (4) differences in referral rates were higher for costlier high-technology imaging services; (5) physician owners in most specialities had higher referral rates than nonowners in the same specialty; (6) owners of MRI facilities referred their patients for MRI scans twice as often as other physicians; and (7) physician investment in medical facilities is associated with more frequent patient referral to those facilities and higher health care costs.

Sep 15, 2016

Sep 14, 2016

Sep 12, 2016

Sep 9, 2016

Sep 6, 2016

Aug 31, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here