The White House Administration demonstrated its support for Stark reform recently by including in its FY 2015 Budget a proposal that would amend the In-Office Ancillary Services (IOAS) exception to prohibit self-referrals for anatomic pathology, advanced imaging, radiation therapy, and physical therapy services. The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) applauds the Administration for its leadership, its response to a growing evidence-base in favor of Stark reform, and its efforts to encourage more appropriate use of Medicare services. The Society especially commends the Administration for its commitment to protecting patients from the harmful byproducts of self-referrals for certain complex ancillary services that are inappropriately included under the IOAS exception.
On behalf of the pathology and laboratory community, ASCP is grateful to the administration for its response to recent advocacy efforts in support of Stark reform including anatomic pathology services. In November 2013, ASCP joined the College of American Pathologists and the American Clinical Laboratory Association for a meeting with the White House's Office of Domestic Policy. The partner organizations shared with the Administration recently published research from the Government Accountability Office, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, and Health Affairs. The studies provided consistent evidence that a clinician's ability to self-refer for anatomic pathology services drives overutilization, increases costs, and potentially harms patients. As such, the organizations urged the Administration to promote Stark reform in the President's 2015 Budget Proposal and include anatomic pathology services on the list of services recommended for removal from the IOAS exception.