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Bid to rein in medical testing

Measures to rein in costly medical diagnostic tests will include the prohibition of “financially vested self-referrals”, according to the Ministry of Health.

The idea of regulation arose in late 2013 to a backdrop of rising health spending, with a concurrent rise in insurance premiums. The original proposal was for medical precertification, meaning that referrals for tests such as MRI and CT scan would need to be checked by a second authority.

Pre-certification drew swift criticism from the Opposition, which attacked the move as an unnecessary bureaucratic step that risked harming patients through delay. The Bermuda Medical Doctors Association was also sceptical of its efficacy.

Although the Bermuda Government issued a request for proposal on precertification in October 2014, a spokeswoman told The Royal Gazette that eliminating the self-referrals was “anticipated [to] correct any existing concerns about unwarranted testing”.

The cutback, in tandem with the Bermuda Health Council's “upcoming enhanced regulation of healthcare providers”, is expected to go before the House of Assembly this term.

The cutback is expected to go before the House of Assembly this term ( Photograph by David Skinner)

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Published June 24, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 24, 2016 at 8:16 am)

Bid to rein in medical testing

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