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December 23, 1992

Estimates of Physician Joint Ventures

Author Affiliations

Florida State University Tallahassee

JAMA. 1992;268(24):3433-3434. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490240041028

In Reply.  —We thank the authors of the OIG study on physician joint ventures1 for their interest, their pioneering research, and for clarifying the criteria used to identify independent physiological laboratories. In our article on the prevalence and scope of physician joint ventures in Florida,2 we defined diagnostic imaging services to encompass all radiology Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes. We compared the CPT codes used in the OIG study with our criteria to ascertain the differences between the two approaches. This comparison revealed that more than 85% of the 82 HCPCS codes used in the OIG definition were radiology procedures.1 The codes in the OIG definition not captured by our criteria included procedures such as electronic pacemaker analysis and cardiac events recording, which are typically performed in physicians' offices and not in freestanding facilities. Moreover, the OIG definition, like our criteria, did not include any radiation therapy