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CMS Seeks Public Comment to Reduce Stark Law Regulatory Burden

CMS issued an RFI for recommendations on ways to reduce regulatory burden of Stark Law to improve care coordination.

CMS is interested in public input about how to reduce regulatory burden related to Stark Law.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- CMS issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public comment and recommendations about ways the federal agency can reduce the regulatory burden associated with the physician self-referral law (Stark Law).

The federal agency is especially interested in pinpointing aspects of Stark Law that may negatively affect care coordination.

“Removing unnecessary government obstacles to care coordination is a key priority for this Administration,” said HHS 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.”

Reducing regulatory burden is a top priority for CMS in 2018. A previous RFI from the federal agency asked healthcare industry stakeholders and providers to identify areas of high administrative burden. Stark Law and its accompanying regulations came in near the top of the list.

“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,” said Hargan. “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.”

Responses to the RFI will help HHS better understand provider concerns surrounding specific regulations related to Stark Law and enable more targeted burden reduction efforts.

“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 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 also wants public input about the structure of arrangements between parties that participate in alternative payment models (APMs) or other novel financial arrangements, potential revisions to Stark Law exceptions, and terminology related to APMs and Stark Law.

Those interested in responding to the RFI have until August 24, 2018 to submit feedback.

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