"The findings raise concerns regarding the appropriate use of IMRT, especially among older Medicare beneficiaries," Mitchell wrote. "Permitting urologists to self-refer for IMRT may contribute to increased use of this expensive therapy."
The study bolsters similar findings with other forms of self-referral. In fact, some urologists have incorporated pathology labs into their practices, boosting the number of biopsies they perform, Mitchell said. Research has found similar results in other areas, including advanced imaging and surgery at physician-owned specialty hospitals.