Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on June 30 released a white paper examining potential reforms to the physician self-referral law to remove barriers that prevent moving to alternative payment models.
“While the original goals of the Stark law were appropriate, today it is presenting a real burden for hospitals and doctors trying to find new ways to provide high quality care while reducing costs as they work to implement recent health care reforms,” Hatch said. “This paper reflects critical feedback from the stakeholder community on the law’s ambiguities, its unintended consequences and the need for reform, and I am hopeful it jumpstarts the discussion on how Congress can modernize the law to make it work for patients, providers and taxpayers.”
In comments submitted to the committee in January, the American Hospital Association urged Congress to adopt a single, broad exception to the Stark law, anti-kickback statute and relevant civil monetary penalties for financial relationships designed to foster collaboration in health care delivery and efficiencies and improvements in care. “We commend the Committee’s efforts to continue the dialogue on making sensible reforms to the Stark law and removing outdated roadblocks to transforming care,” said AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels.