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.
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?
Patients should participate in the process of questioning as to what medical exams are to be performed and why. Active patient involvement will have the strongest impact on helping to curtail unnecessary testing, which is contributing to the health care crisis.