Update to Stark Law coming later this year, CMS chief says

As providers and payers continue to embrace value-based care over fee-for-service arrangements, CMS Administrator Seema Verma argues changes must be made to the Stark Law.

The Stark Law was implemented to reduce physician conflicts of interest, but "in a system where we’re paying for value, where the provider, ideally, is taking on some risk for outcomes and cost overruns, we don’t have nearly as much need to interfere with who’s getting paid for what service," said Ms. Verma.

"We are actively working on an update to our Stark regulations to be issued later this year. Some of the changes include clarifying the regulatory definitions of volume or value, commercial reasonableness and fair market value; addressing issues such as lack of signature, incorrect dates or other areas of technical noncompliance; and updating the regulation to address a world in which there are cybersecurity and electronic health records requirements," said Ms. Verma.

These changes would be the most significant alterations to the law since its 1989 inception.

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