Obama Proposes End to In Office Ancillary Exception

As part of President Obama’s proposed 2014 budget, a provision was included that would close the in-office ancillary services (IOAS) exception to the stark law for radiology, radiation oncology and physical therapy practices.  In-office pathology labs were not included in the budget; however, this is merely a proposal and if the Alliance for Integrity in Medicare (AIM) has any input, in office pathology will be included.

In an April 23rd edition of The Pathology Blawg, AIM was quoted as saying, “We believe this loophole results in increased spending, unnecessary utilization of medical services, and potentially compromised patient choice and care, thus eroding the integrity of the Medicare Program.”  The coalition went on to say, “AIM strongly urges Congress to follow the lead of the Moment of Truth Project and pass legislation to remove advanced diagnostic imaging, anatomic pathology, and physical therapy from the IOAS exception in the 113th Congress.  Reforming this policy will ensure that Medicare patients receive the highest quality and safest health care most appropriate to their needs, and Medicare policy incentives are properly aligned, which is in the best interest of beneficiaries, providers and our nation’s health system overall.”

Time will tell on this issue and others related to the 2014 budget proposal.  APS will continue to monitor this proposal and provide an update as soon as information is available.  If you have any additional questions, please contact your Practice Manager.