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American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons

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GAO Finds No Over-Utilization by PT Self-Referrers

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on physical therapy utilization as part of a series reports examining the effect of the in-office ancillary services (IAOS) exception to the Stark Laws that generally prohibit self-referral. The report examined the utilization of services for physical therapy by physicians who employed physical therapists in their practice (“self-referrers”). The report concluded that while self-referring physicians generally referred more patients for PT services, self-referring orthopaedic surgeons, on average, generally referred fewer PT services than non-self-referring orthopaedic surgeons.

In a statement, AAOS President Frederick M. Azar, MD said, “This study confirms the responsible use of in-office ancillary services by orthopaedic surgeons and the importance of maintaining the integration of those services in an orthopaedic surgeon’s office to allow for the continuation of care and to provide the best treatment option for patients.” Read the full AAOS press release.

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