AHA today urged the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General to create new safe harbors under the anti-kickback statute to enable hospitals, physicians and patients “to work together to achieve value-based care and a patient-centered system.” Specifically, AHA proposes OIG create a safe harbor to protect value-based payment arrangements, and a safe harbor for assistance offered to beneficiaries to promote the best health outcomes. “The rigid contours of existing safe harbors combine to inhibit the innovation necessary to re-invent systems for the efficient delivery of high-quality health care services,” AHA said, responding to a recent OIG request for information on the issue. The letter highlights the obstacles hospitals working with physicians and other providers face in moving to a value-based system while navigating fraud and abuse regulations built for a fee-for-service reimbursement model. OIG is accepting comments on the RFI through Oct. 26. AHA members are encouraged to submit comments, using the AHA’s letter as a resource. AHA also recently responded to a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services RFI regarding the Stark law, urging creation of a Stark law exception for value-based arrangements and other improvements.

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