Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., (D-Calif.) has introduced a bill that would exclude certain advanced diagnostic imaging services from the in-office ancillary services exception to the “Stark laws” prohibition on physician self-referral. 

HR 2962, or the Integrity in Medicare Advanced Diagnostic Imaging Act of 2009, would amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act.

According to the ACR, Speier has advocated to close the Stark Law in-office imaging loophole since serving in the California state legislature.

“The College appreciates Rep. Speier’s effort to end the longstanding issue of physician self-referral in imaging. We thank the Congresswoman for her courage in confronting the issue and look forward to working with her to advance this issue,” said James H. Thrall, M.D., FACR, chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that imaging utilization, much of which is unnecessary, is significantly increased when physicians refer patients to facilities in which they have a financial interest.

The bill currently has no cosponsors and has been referred jointly to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee.