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AMGA voices opposition to legislation limiting patient access to imaging services

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style
Alexandria, VA – AMGA today stated strong opposition to a recent legislative effort to restrict providers’ ability to coordinate care by inhibiting their ability to provide imaging services. H.R. 2143, the “Promoting Integrity in Medicare Act,” would amend the in-office ancillary services (IOAS) exception within the Stark self-referral law and would prohibit medical groups from providing advanced imaging services to their patients. This bill would impede integrated, coordinated patient care and providers’ ability to reduce the cost of care. In addition, it directly undermines the intent of federal policymakers, who have put the Medicare program on a path towards value-based reimbursement.

“Restricting multispecialty medical groups and integrated delivery systems from providing advanced imaging services is contrary to AMGA members’ mission of providing value-based care,” said AMGA President and CEO Jerry Penso, M.D., M.B.A. “This legislation not only will impact the timeliness of diagnosing our patients. It also will negatively affect population health efforts and create more access burdens for patients seeking efficient, cost-effective treatment.”

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This legislation could restrict physicians practicing in multispecialty medical groups from referring patients for advanced imaging services within their groups. This would have a devastating impact on some of this country’s leading healthcare organizations, the patients they serve, and the integrated infrastructure that exists to deliver better health care at lower costs. Narrowing the scope of the IOAS exception deviates from the federal efforts underway to provide incentives for healthcare providers to integrate healthcare delivery. If the exception is removed, patients would lose the advantages inherent to receiving integrated, coordinated care in a medical group setting. The policy change is potentially harmful for patents, particularly in rural areas, where they would face delays and possible gaps in care if they could not obtain advanced imaging services in their accustomed multispecialty medical group setting.

As part of their efforts to deliver value-based care, AMGA member medical groups and systems devote considerable resources to determining the proper use of advanced diagnostic imaging services, including utilizing decision-support tools to ensure that clinical decision-making is supported by evidence before ordering advanced imaging for their patients. AMGA will continue to protect Medicare beneficiary access to advanced diagnostic imaging services by opposing any legislative effort that would eliminate or limit the ability of multispecialty medical groups and integrated delivery systems to furnish advanced diagnostic imaging services to Medicare beneficiaries in their facilities.

About AMGA
AMGA is a trade association leading the transformation of health care in America. Representing multispecialty medical groups and integrated systems of care, we advocate, educate, innovate, and empower our members to deliver the next level of high performance health. AMGA is the national voice promoting awareness of our members’ recognized excellence in the delivery of coordinated, high quality, high-value care. More than 175,000 physicians practice in our member organizations, delivering care to one in three Americans.

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