In-Office Laboratories Under Scrutiny for Overutilization and No Link to Improved Patient Care
Health policy journal, Health Affairs, published a study on April 10, 2012 by Georgetown University health economist Jean Mitchell, PhD, which provides evidence that anatomic pathology services are being over utilized by urologists who profit on the referrals.
According to the study, urologists who profit from pathology orders submit an average of 10.3 specimens for review, as opposed to those who do not profit submitting 6 specimens on average. Dr. Mitchell was noted also as saying self-referring urologists were statistically less likely to diagnose cancer because “financial incentives prompt self-referring urologists to perform prostate biopsies on men who are unlikely to have prostate cancer.”
The ASCP President, C. Bruce Alexander, MD, FASCP, applauded the study and was noted as saying, “ASCP commends Dr. Mitchell on the publication of her seminal research exposing the seriously troubling business of physician self-referral of anatomic pathology services… Her study adds to a wealth of evidence illustrating that self-referral may result in overutilization of costly medical services.”
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