Interested in addressing legal obstacles that prevent providers from participating in innovative payment models, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has put out a call for stakeholders to address challenges raised by the so-called Stark law that makes it difficult for physicians to participate in such models.
In a news release accompanying CMS’s publication of its request for information, the agency notes that
Over the past year, CMS has engaged with the provider community in a discussion about regulatory burden issues. This included publishing a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting comments about areas of high regulatory burden. One of the top areas of burden identified in the over 2,600 comments received was compliance with the Stark Law and its accompanying regulations.
The news release also explains that
“We are looking for information and bold ideas on how to change the existing regulations to reduce provider burden and put patients in the driver’s seat,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Dealing with the burden of the physician self-referral law is one of our top priorities as we move towards a health care system that pays for value rather than volume.”
In general, the Stark law prohibits physicians from referring patients to any individual or entity in which those physicians have a financial interest.
The CMS news releases also notes that
CMS is particularly interested in the public’s input on the structure of arrangements between parties that participate in alternative payment models or other novel financial arrangements, the need for revisions or additions to exceptions to the physician self-referral law, and terminology related to alternative payment models and the physician self-referral law.
CMS is accepting comments until August 24.