The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services seeks comments through Aug. 24 on how it can reduce regulatory burdens and obstacles to care coordination associated with the physician self-referral (Stark) law. According to the request for information, the agency is particularly interested in input on the structure of arrangements between parties that participate in alternative payment models or other novel financial arrangements; the need for revisions or additions to exceptions to the physician self-referral law; and terminology related to alternative payment models and the physician self-referral law. “We are looking for information and bold ideas on how to change the existing regulations to reduce provider burden and put patients in the driver’s seat,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Dealing with the burden of the physician self-referral law is one of our top priorities as we move towards a health care system that pays for value rather than volume.” AHA General Counsel Melinda Hatton said, “This is an important opportunity for the field to make major inroads on removing barriers to coordination and improve care for patients.”

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