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Physician Self-Referrals for Imaging Cost Medicare $109M in 2010
Health Leaders Media

A federal study estimates that financial incentives tied to physicians’ self-referrals for advanced imaging services cost Medicare an additional $109 million in 2010. The Government Accountability Office report, Higher Use of Advanced Imaging Services by Providers Who Self-Refer Costing Medicare Millions, examined MRI and CT services from 2004–2010. It found that the use of MRI services increased by more than 80% when physicians self-referred compared to a 12% increase for non-self-referred MRIs.

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