The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking recommendations and input from the public on how to address any undue impact and burden of the physician self-referral law (also known as the "Stark Law"), focusing in part on how the law may impede care coordination, a key aspect of systems that deliver value.
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. In response to these concerns, CMS undertook a review of the existing regulations to determine where the agency could consider potential areas for burden reduction. In coordination with Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan, CMS is now soliciting specific input on a range of issues identified with the Stark Law to help the agency better understand provider concerns and target its regulatory efforts to address those concerns.
"Removing unnecessary government obstacles to care coordination is a key priority for this Administration," said Deputy Secretary Hargan. "We need to change the healthcare system so that it puts value and results at the forefront of care, and coordinated care plays a vital role in this transformation. Reviewing the Stark Law regulations is an important step forward to building a value-based system, which is one of Secretary Azar's priorities at HHS. I am personally leading our recently launched Regulatory Sprint to remove barriers and help providers deliver the best team-based care. We welcome public input to get us there."
"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."
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. Public comments on the RFI will be due by August 24, 2018.
To view a blog by Administrator Verma, please visit: https://blog.cms.gov/2018/06/20/working-together-for-value/
The RFI can be downloaded from the Federal Register at: https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/