CMS finalizes Stark Law overhaul: 6 things to know

CMS issued a final rule Nov. 20 that modifies the Stark Law, which prohibits physician self-referrals.  

Six things to know:

1. The agency proposed the changes to the Stark Law in October 2019, arguing that the law hasn't evolved with the transition to value-based care.

2. The final rule provides exceptions to the law for certain value-based compensation arrangements between or among physicians, other providers and suppliers. 

3. The rule has an exception for some arrangements in which a physician receives remuneration for items or services provided by the physician.

4. It also has a new exception for donations of cybersecurity technology and services and amends the existing exception for EHR items and services.

5. The modifications take effect Jan. 19.

6. The changes are the most significant alterations to the law since its 1989 inception, according to CMS. 

"The final rule unleashes innovation by permitting physicians and other healthcare providers to design and enter into value-based arrangements without fear that legitimate activities to coordinate and improve the quality of care for patients and lower costs would violate the Stark Law," CMS said in its news release.  

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