1 November 2012
American Medical Group Association Statement Regarding GAO Report on Advanced Imaging Services and Self-Referral
Alexandria, Va. - The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) issued a statement regarding the report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) entitled "Higher Use of Advanced Imaging Services by Providers Who Self-Refer Costing Medicare Millions," released October 31, 2012.
"Yesterday's GAO report is yet more evidence of a fractured federal healthcare program that does little to recognize the value of integrated systems of care, such as those offered in our nation's multispecialty medical groups. Industry leaders like The Everett Clinic, Geisinger Health System, Park Nicollet, The Iowa Clinic, Austin Diagnostic Clinic, and Quincy Medical Group are all dependent on the buttressing support of imaging and other ancillary services in their practices, and these institutions are considered by most objective observers to be the exemplars of healthcare quality and innovation," said Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, AMGA president and chief executive officer. "AMGA member groups are committed to delivering the right care at the right time to patients. These multispecialty medical groups provide a team-based approach to medical care which engages the patient, the clinician, and other healthcare professionals who are working at the top of their field to improve the patient's well-being. Many member groups utilize decision support tools to ensure that clinical decision-making is supported by evidence before ordering advanced diagnostic imaging for their patients. At a time when the federal government is providing incentives for healthcare providers to integrate care delivery, such as in the Medicare Shared Savings Program, I would strongly urge federal policymakers to not rush to judgment based on a single report. Patients deserve to have access to coordinated care which is most effectively delivered by multispecialty medical groups and other organized systems of care."
The American Medical Group Association represents some of the nation's largest, most prestigious medical practices, independent practice associations, accountable care organizations, and integrated healthcare delivery systems. AMGA's mission is to support its members in enhancing population health and care for patients through integrated systems of care. More than 125,000 physicians practice in AMGA member organizations, providing healthcare services for 130 million patients (nearly one in three Americans). Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, AMGA is the strategic partner for these organizations, providing a comprehensive package of benefits, including political advocacy, educational and networking programs, publications, benchmarking data services, and financial and operations assistance. www.amga.org