DHPA has submitted comments on the importance of modernizing the federal physician self-referral law (Stark Law) to the U.S. House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee’s Medicare Red Tape Relief Project, an initiative aimed at “delivering relief from the regulations and mandates that impede innovation, drive up costs, and ultimately stand in the way of delivering better care for Medicare beneficiaries.”
In announcing the Project earlier this summer, Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) committed to reducing legislative and regulatory burdens on Medicare providers by working with doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals to identify opportunities to improve the efficiency and quality of the Medicare program for seniors and individuals with disabilities.
DHPA’s comments encourage the Ways and Means Committee to advance legislation that will modernize the Stark Law by removing barriers to participation and care coordination in alternative payment models. DHPA is currently working with a coalition of 25 specialty physician organizations and Ways and Means Committee staff on a bill that will allow such payment arrangements while not harming the original intent of the Stark law – to regulate improper incentives that could lead to increased utilization. The bill accomplishes this by amending the Stark law to:
- Facilitate physician group practice development of, and participation in, alternative payment models by exempting “value and volume” from the fair market value standard.
- Empower the Secretary of HHS to provide the same waiver authority for all types of alternative payment models that already have been provided to Medicare Shared Saving Program’s accountable care organizations; and
- Reform the Stark Law’s punitive and cumbersome strict liability standard to a more workable “knowing and willful” approach used under the civil monetary penalties law.
Click here to read DHPA’s full submission.