Stark Law in the headlines: 10 notes from the last year

Here are 10 notes from Becker's coverage of Stark Law since June 2022:

  1. ​​CMS proposed new guidance for physician-owned hospital reimbursement in the 2024 Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule on April 10. The proposed rule requires physician-owned hospitals to meet requirements for the whole hospital or rural provider exceptions to Stark Law.
  2. There are several key potential Stark Law violations employers need to eye when hiring physicians, according to JDSupra.
  3. Law firm Nexsen Pruet laid out seven key Stark Law definitions for group physician practices in a Feb. 15 article in JDSupra
  4. CMS updated its voluntary self-referral disclosure laws Jan. 23.
  5. The $1.7 trillion 2023 omnibus bill adds an exception to the Stark Law that allows hospitals and entities to provide evidence-based programs to boost physician resilience and mental health. 
  6. Understanding fair market value is critical for compliance under Stark Law and anti-kickback statutes, The National Law Review reported Oct. 20, 2022. 
  7. Hospitals and health systems need to update their physician compensation plans after CMS' changes to the Stark Law.
  8. CMS considered changes to its Stark Law voluntary self-referral disclosure protocols in an effort to streamline the process.
  9. Weirton (W. Va.) Medical Center agreed to pay $1.5 million to resolve allegations that it violated physician self-referral laws. Stark Law prohibits a hospital from billing Medicare for services referred by physicians that the hospital has a financial relationship with unless the relationship fits into the law's exceptions. 

Fifteen Texas physicians were ordered to pay a total of $2.83 million to resolve False Claim Act allegations involving kickbacks for ordering lab tests. The payments will resolve allegations that they violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law.

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