Health Reform 2010: Change for Physician Offices
Author(s): Ranmali Bopitiya
HEALTH REFORM 2010
As we all know, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010. The hefty act of 906 pages heralds change for every health care provider in the United States. Caplan and Earnest is keeping abreast of this revolution in health care.
This article marks the first in a series where we will notify our clients and colleagues of selected topics arising out of the new law. Our intention is not to attempt to summarize the behemoth act, but rather to highlight issues which may be of particular interest to our readers. As always, if you have questions about the new law, feel free to contact any of the attorneys in Caplan and Earnest’s health law section.
Change Effective Today for Physician Offices: New Requirements for Physicians Referring for In-Office Imaging Services
Physicians performing in-office imaging services beware! Starting today, physicians are required to give a written disclosure to patients, at the time of referral, notifying patients that they have the option of obtaining imaging services (MRI, CT, PET, and other radiology services as designated by the Secretary) from other providers. Specifically, the physician must give the patient a list of other suppliers near the patient’s residence.
This section of the new law was made retroactively effective as of January 1, 2010. Hopefully, a grace period will be provided to allow physicians to achieve compliance before this requirement is enforced. In the absence of a specific enforcement date, we suggest that physicians immediately commence compiling lists of suppliers in their region and creating disclosure forms for all patients for whom referrals are made for imaging services. Physicians should also start educating staff about this new requirement and updating policies and protocols related to in-office ancillary services.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact Sharon Caulfield email@example.com, Jennifer Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ranmali Bopitiya at email@example.com.