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    Dr. Kapoor explains support of self-referral exception

    Deepak Kapoor, MDDr. KapoorIn a May 19, 2015 letter to the editor in the JAMA, LUGPA Chairman of Health Policy Deepak A. Kapoor, MD, pointed out what urologists might find to be glaring omissions published online in a JAMA Viewpoint Jan. 12 that supported repeal of the in-office ancillary services exception (IOASE) to the Stark law.

    Recommended: Self-referral, live surgery raise ethical challenges

    In their Viewpoint, authors Ely Y. Adashi, MD, MS, of Brown University in Providence, RI, and Robert P. Kocher, MD, of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, explained why they thought failure to repeal the IOASE “would constitute a costly missed opportunity.”  

    Among their points: “Observations on self-referrals of IMRT services for the treatment of prostate cancer were particularly disconcerting. The utilization of self-referred IMRT services increased by as much as 356 percent at a time when the utilization of the non-self-referred variety decreased by 5 percent." 

    The authors cite findings from four recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports and suggest Congress could close dozens of loopholes that have allowed physicians to increasingly refer patients for medical services to enterprises in which they have a financial stake.

    In a telephone interview, Urology Times asked Dr. Kapoor to comment on his rebuttal.

    UT: Is preserving the IOASE LUGPA’s position?

    Dr. Kapoor: Actually, preservation of the in-office ancillary service exception is part of the common legislative platform for all of organized urology. As such, preserving the IOASE is a priority not only for LUGPA, but also the AACU and the AUA as well.

    Next: How would urologists be impacted if IOASE were to be repealed?

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    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has written about health care, the science and business of medicine, fitness and wellness ...

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