Every day hospitals and health systems seek to provide the best care for each and every patient. But a growing list of regulatory barriers hampers their efforts to transform and improve care. Improving the coordination of patient care is a prime example. Last week, we released a report as part of the AHA’s on-going campaign seeking regulatory relief for hospitals and health systems. It highlights how outdated fraud and abuse regulations created under the Stark and Anti-Kickback laws are barriers to transforming patient care. From limiting electronic record sharing to inhibiting redesign of care to improve outcomes, from impeding team-based approaches and obstructing on-going access to care for discharged patients and more, these laws and regulations fail to protect patients and hinder efforts to improve their care. We’re pleased that Congress is taking the first steps to re-examine these laws. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) recently released a white paper sharing stakeholder feedback on how the Stark law is inhibiting care coordination, and the Committee convened a hearing earlier this week. Regulatory relief can’t come soon enough. The patients and communities we serve deserve nothing less than the best coordinated care that our medical skills, science, technology and our ability to innovate can provide.

 

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