The AHA today applauded “the new direction” the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is taking to modify, modernize and clarify the physician self-referral law, also known as the Stark Law, to “provide space for the types of innovative arrangements among hospitals and physicians that can enhance care coordination, improve quality and reduce costs.” 
 
“Similarly, CMS’s efforts to tackle the burdens created by the compensation regulations are a major step forward in putting ‘patients over paperwork’ and making compliance more straightforward,” AHA wrote today in response to CMS’s proposed rule. 
 
AHA said it was pleased to see so “many of the real-world issues and concerns hospitals experience every day managing within the current Stark regime” addressed in the proposed rule, including creating value-based exceptions designed to foster and support efforts to achieve a system of value-based care; tackling the problems created by the ambiguities and misinterpretation by courts and others of the three cornerstone conditions of the compensation regulations; and minimizing documentation requirements that are “little more than tripwires for noncompliance.” 
 
In its letter, AHA provides detailed comments on the specifics of CMS’s proposed changes, responds to questions on which input is requested, and provides recommendations for specific clarifications or modifications to the proposed regulations. 
 
Comments on the proposed rule are due Dec. 31. 

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