As long advocated by the AHA, the Department of Health and Human Services today proposed modernizing the Stark Law on physician self-referral and the Anti-kickback Statute.
 
The proposed rule on Stark, issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, would create new permanent exceptions to the law for value-based arrangements and certain other arrangements, such as donations of certain cybersecurity technology. The exceptions would apply whether the care was provided to Medicare or other patients.
 
The proposed rule revising safe harbors under the Anti-kickback Statute, issued by HHS’ Office of Inspector General, would provide three new safe harbors for remuneration exchanged between or among eligible participants in a value-based arrangement. It also proposes new safe harbors for remuneration provided in connection with CMS-sponsored models and Medicare accountable care organizations; patient engagement; the donation of cybersecurity technology and services; electronic health records; outcomes-based payments; and telehealth for in-home dialysis; and an expanded safe harbor for local transportation.
 
“We applaud the Department of Health and Human Services for putting patients first and taking action to modernize the rules so they support, rather than hinder, the teamwork among health care providers that is so essential to providing the best, most comprehensive patient care,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “When health care providers are able to work together to coordinate care, it is patients that benefit the most. For far too long, a group of out-of-date regulations has created unnecessary roadblocks to the kind of collaboration and coordination that enables caregivers to meet all of their patients’ health care needs, whether in the hospital, the doctor’s office or their own homes.”
 
The agencies will accept comments on the proposed rules for 75 days after their publication in the Federal Register. 

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