PAI Contends Reforming Stark Law Would Improve Outcomes

The Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) recently responded to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid’s (CMS) Request for Information on the Physician Self-Referral Law, known more commonly as the Stark Law. Implemented in 1989 to promote transparency in physicians’ financial relationships and discourage waste, fraud and abuse, many physicians now see the Stark Law as a barrier to participating in initiatives that incentivize better patient care and outcomes through quality-based payment.

In its letter, PAI formally requested a series of exceptions and clarifications that would promote the adoption and development of value-based care models. Additionally, the letter also highlighted the higher administrative burden for small, medium and solo-practitioners, and called for more support as they update their practice.

PAI urged CMS to work with providers and state medical societies as it addresses the obstacles created by the Stark Law. PAI believes CMS should offer greater flexibility and guidance to help physicians provide higher quality, coordinated, integrated and holistic care to their patients.

“We’re encouraged by CMS’s interest in rethinking a law that had the best of intentions but has ultimately become a barrier to quality patient care in today’s marketplace,” said Robert W. Seligson, CEO of the North Carolina Medical Society and PAI President. “Greater flexibility in the application of the law will allow physicians to better coordinate care and more readily transition to value-based care models.”


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