The Digestive Health Physicians Association (DHPA) and a broad coalition of 29 physician groups voiced strong opposition to H.R. 2143, legislation that would eliminate the in-office ancillary services exception (IOASE) and make it harder for physicians to coordinate care for their patients.
In a letter to the bipartisan leadership of the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees, the 29 physician groups urged opposition to the bill because it would severely limit patient access to care and impede the successful implementation of value-based payments and alternative payment models (APMs).
“Restricting or eliminating the IOASE will severely limit the ability of independent physicians to develop and participate in integrated care models,” said Dr. Michael Weinstein, president of DHPA. “This bill would drive care into the more expensive hospital setting and further splinter our healthcare delivery system, making the shift from fee-for-service to value-based payments and APMs even more difficult.”
A study by Milliman Inc. – commissioned by the American Medical Association and DHPA – showed that utilization of ancillary services in physician practices is a small percentage of total spending on ancillary services and is declining or growing more slowly than in hospital settings.
The IOASE allows clinicians to provide some services in the office setting, including advanced diagnostic imaging (MRI, PET, and CT scans), radiation therapy, anatomic pathology, and physical therapy, when complex regulatory requirements are met. In-office access to diagnostic services can help deliver rapid, appropriate treatment of a disease condition, in a setting that is more convenient, comfortable and familiar to a patient.
Click here to read the full letter.