Imaging self-referral proposal would amend Stark laws

December 19, 2008

A Medicare bill introduced in July would require physicians to disclose to patients any self-referral of imaging services such as MRIs and CT scans.

A Medicare bill introduced in July, which would require physicians to disclose to patients any self-referral of imaging services such as MRIs and CT scans, may see new life as part of a larger Medicare reform bill in the next congressional session, which kicks off in January.

Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) proposed the "Medicare Imaging Disclosure Sunshine Act of 2008" earlier this year in the Senate Finance Committee. The committee is chaired by Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana), who is planning his own health-care reform proposal (see story).

Grassley's bill would amend the Stark Law by requiring physicians to disclose their financial interest in certain imaging services provided within their clinic or hospital and provide patients with a list of alternative imaging providers in the area. The bill was introduced in July, but hasn't been addressed since.