HospitalsRegulatory

Stark law changes to open up value-based model participation, Verma says

March 04, 2019 / ROBERT KING 

CMS Administrator Seema Verma gave her first update on a major overhaul to the Stark law, saying that a key part of the regulation will remove a barrier to doctors participating in value-based arrangements.

A major part of the agency’s updates to the anti-kickback law is clarifying areas of noncompliance for doctors and updating the decades-old rules to reflect the shift from a fee-for-service model to value-based care, Verma said during the Federation of American Hospitals’ policy conference in Washington Monday.

“Some changes include clarifying regulatory definition of volume or value, commercial reasonableness and fair-market value,” Verma said of the updated regulation likely to be released later this year.

She added that the updated regulation will also address signatures, incorrect dates and other areas of “technical noncompliance.”

The goal of the update would be to address changes in the healthcare world that include the implementation of electronic health records and cybersecurity.

Hospitals and doctors have been clamoring for an update to the Stark law for years. They worry that doctors may violate the Stark law if they refer patients to a hospital or lab that they have a financial relationship with, which could prevent them from participating in value-based arrangements.

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Chris J. Stewart

Chris currently serves as Chief Operating Officer at Ortho Spine Partners. Prior to that, he was the assistant vice president and business unit leader of Medical Device Management for HealthTrust.

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