Stark Law Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

News & Analysis as of

Summer Fraud and Abuse Roundup

Now that the kids are back in school and summer vacations are in the rearview mirror, it’s time to catch up on recent fraud and abuse developments. The federal government was busy this summer negotiating a pair of settlements...more

Compliance Concerns Raised Over Proposed Hospital Outpatient Department Rule

In an August 26, 2016, letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the American Hospital Association (AHA) expressed serious concern over the portion of the calendar year 2017 hospital outpatient prospective...more

Corporate Investigations and White Collar Defense - August 2016

Spotlight on the False Claims Act - Why it matters: This month, we review a recent Ninth Circuit case that allowed a qui tam relator’s action against various Medicare Advantage organizations to proceed, holding that the...more

CMS Re-proposes Ban on Per-Click Fees for Space and Equipment Leases under Stark

In the CY 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (CY 2017 MPFS), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued proposed updates to the physician self-referral law (Stark law). The primary Stark law update focused on...more

Provider-Based Rule and Stark—Is Joint Compliance Impossible in 2017?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be putting hospitals in an untenable position if recent proposed rulemaking is implemented as is. In its proposal for acting on legislation reducing payments to new,...more

The Physician’s Self-Referral Law – Are Changes Finally Coming?

The Physician Self-Referral Law, also known as the Stark law, prohibits a physician from referring federal health care program patients for “designated health services” to an entity in which the physician (or an immediate...more

Senate Finance Committee Report Concludes Stark Law Change Is Necessary to Drive Health Care Reform

In its report, Why Stark, Why Now? [PDF], released June 30, 2016, the Senate Committee on Finance outlines suggested changes to the physician self-referral law, 42 U.S.C. § 1395nn, (the Stark law) in order to facilitate and...more

CMS Proposes Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Update for 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published its proposed rule to update the Medicare physician fee schedule (MPFS) for calendar year (CY) 2017. The proposed rule contains numerous Medicare payment and...more

CMS Issues Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule

On July 7, 2016, CMS issued a proposed rule that updates payment policies, payment rates, and quality provisions for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) on or after January 1, 2017 (Proposed...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: Double Issue — Congress leaves for seven weeks, Congress sends opioid legislation to the President…More co-ops fail…The Supreme Court rules on Texas Abortion Case and Washington state Pharmacists and Religious...more

Could There Be A “Stark” Law Change?

There appears to be momentum on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC to modify and/or repeal the Ethics in Patient Referrals Act of 1989, more commonly known as the Stark Law, which was enacted to curb overutilization of certain...more

Are Changes to the Stark Law on the Way?

Congress has acknowledged that the Stark law is standing in the way of the healthcare industry's transition to alternative, value-based payment models, and in turn, meaningful reform may soon be on the horizon. Last...more

Roundtable Discussion Results in Senate Committee White Paper on Stark Law Reform

In Depth - On June 30, 2016, the US Senate Committee on Finance (Committee) released a white paper titled Why Stark, Why Now? Suggestions to Improve the Stark Law to Encourage Innovative Payment Models, that addressed...more

Same Per-Click Rule, New Rationale

On July 7 CMS issued a proposed rule reaffirming its position that the Stark Law prohibits “per-click” rent payments when the lessor is the one referring the patients to the lessee for the “click,” e.g., the test or...more

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Releases White Paper Examining Potential Reforms to the Stark Law

On June 30, 2016, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch released a white paper examining potential reforms to the Federal Stark law. The white paper, entitled “Why Stark, Why Now? Suggestions to Improve the Stark...more

CMS Announces Plans to Streamline the Stark Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol

On May 6, 2016, CMS published a notice (Notice), required under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), seeking public comment on its plans to revise the information collected under the Medicare Self-referral Disclosure Protocol...more

CMS Unveils Revised Voluntary Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol

On May 6, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released proposed revisions to its Voluntary Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol (SRDP), through which providers may disclose actual or potential violations...more

CMS Proposes Extension of Medicare Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol Lookback Period to Six Years

CMS has published a notice inviting comments on a revised Medicare Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol (SRDP), which is a vehicle for providers and suppliers to voluntarily self-disclose actual or potential violations of the...more

2016 Stark Law Updates

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the 2016 Medicare Fee Schedule (the "Schedule") in an effort to facilitate compliance with the Physician Self-Referral Law (the "Stark Law"). Generally, absent an...more

OIG Issues New Exclusion and CIA Guidance

On April 18, 2016, Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson announced the publication of updated guidance on how the Office of Inspector General (OIG) makes decisions about using its permissive exclusion authority and requiring...more

New Stark Law Exception Breathes Life into Primary Care, Especially in Underserved Areas

With the recent and significant shortages of primary care providers, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) recently created a rather important exception to the Stark Law as a means to expand access to primary...more

Analysis of New Timeshare Arrangement Exception to the Stark Law – Part 2

In a previous post, we analyzed the new Timeshare Arrangement exception to the Stark law that CMS proposed and went into effect on January 1, 2016. Here we give an example of how the new timeshare arrangement exception works...more

Analysis of New Timeshare Arrangement Exception to the Stark Law – Part 1

On July 15, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a series of rules that would create new exceptions to the Stark law, in addition to clarifying other provisions of the Stark law. One of the newly...more

The Deeper Dive: The Final Overpayment Rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued its final rule for Reporting and Returning of Overpayments (Final Rule). The Final Rule implements section 1128J(d) of the Social Security Act, which...more

New Stark Law Exception for Non-Physician Practitioner Subsidies: A Gift or Pandora's Box for Hospitals?

As of January 1, 2016, a new Stark Law exception allows hospitals to give subsidies to physician practices for the recruitment of non-physician practitioners (“NPPs”). In the Phase III Stark Law regulations, the Centers for...more

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