Congress Acts on the Stark Disclosure Dilemma: Federal Health Reform Authorizes New Stark Self-Disclosure Protocol

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On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, H.R. 3590 (“PPACA”). In addition to enacting a myriad of health care reform provisions, Section 6409 of the PPACA requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) to create a self-disclosure protocol under which healthcare providers may voluntarily report potential Stark Law violations. This is a welcome development for hospitals and other health care providers that discover unintentional or “technical” violations of Stark and face potentially massive exposure to liability for such violations without any clear mechanism to fairly resolve these claims.

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