The North American Spine Society statement on the Government Accountability Office Report on Use of Advanced Imaging Services by Providers:

“Recently the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that from 2004-2010, provider’s referrals of MRI and CT services increased the year after providers gained an ownership interest in the imaging services. These results were found by analyzing Medicare Part B claims data and interviewing officials from CMS and other stakeholders. NASS encourages the appropriate use of advanced diagnostic imaging consistent with optimal high quality/value clinical care while providing improved access and convenience for our elderly and disabled patients. Timely and accurate diagnoses of conditions or diseases are essential to limiting unnecessary and costly treatments. The answer for achieving appropriate use of advanced diagnostic imaging may be in determining guidelines utilizing comparative effectiveness research rather than eliminating in-office diagnostic imaging.”

To view the full report, please visit: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-966.

NASS will continue to monitor this issue on behalf of our members and patients. Please contact advocacy@spine.org with any questions or comments you may have on this issue.