HHS may make changes to Stark Law, anti-kickback rules: 5 details

HHS may make changes to the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute that are intended to make it easier for healthcare providers to collaborate on value-based care arrangements. 

Five things to know:

1. Under the proposed new rule issued by CMS, Stark Law would include value-based exceptions to acknowledge that the incentives for value-based care are different from volume-based care. The proposal includes safeguards to protect against overutilization, among other potential issues, but would give physicians and healthcare providers more flexibility.

2. The proposal also would change the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute to address concerns that the law, along with the Civil Monetary Penalties Law, limit healthcare provider coordination. The changes would allow providers to be more flexible to innovation in care coordination, including through outcomes-based payment arrangements.

3. The proposed updates offer specific safe harbors for value-based arrangements that make it easier for healthcare providers, including physicians, to comply with the law.

4. The HHS announcement of proposed updates outlined situations that are currently roadblocks to care coordination that may be removed if the proposal is finalized. Those scenarios include allowing hospitals and physicians to work together to innovate in post-discharge care coordination; physicians providing patients with free pillboxes; patient data sharing between specialty and primary care physicians; and allow hospitals to provide cybersecurity support to nearby providers.

5. The proposed rule also touches on allowing providers to give end-stage kidney disease patients technology to monitor their health.

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