Changes to Stark Law on the Horizon?
The federal Department of Health and Human Services announced this week that they are nearing the end of the process to introduce new modernizing rules to both Stark Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute.
"Outdated policies from HHS mean not only less than desirable results for taxpayers and for beneficiaries of our programs, but often for patients and payers in the private market as well. The role played in paying for services by our own policies at HHS is dominant, which means where we aren't innovating, we hold things back." - Deputy HHS Secretary Eric Hargan
These changes have taken place within the Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care, announced last fall. In evaluating Stark Law, originally passed in 1989, HHS is attempting to reexamine the role of the Law as healthcare shifts towards a more value-based care model.
"In a system where we're paying for value, where the provider is ideally taking on some risk for outcomes and cost overruns, we don't have nearly as much need to interfere with who's getting paid for each service. Of course, in considering changes to the Stark Law, we have to remain acutely aware of the need for competition in the healthcare marketplace. In an ideal world, we can do both at the same time."
Despite these possible changes to Stark and AKS on the horizon, physician contract compliance should remain a top priority at healthcare organizations as the initial compliance goals set forth by these laws continue to be praised by HHS.
If you have questions regarding physician contract compliance at your organization please feel free to contact us to learn more about how MD Ranger helps healthcare organizations.