During the fiscal year of 2010, self-referrals amounted to over $109 million dollars in extra payments from Medicare, which equates to approximately 400,000 diagnostic imaging examinations for seemingly arbitrary purposes.
When you go to the doctor, you want to find out what's wrong and how you can get better. In modern-day America, though, what you will get are tests to "rule out" problems rather than figure out what you actually have.
Self-referral leads to more images, more treatment, more surgeries, etc., and contributes to the escalation in the unsustainable rising health-care costs. It is a vicious cycle. So why not just eliminate self-referral?