The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recently released proposed revisions to the federal anti-kickback and physician self-referral (Stark law) rules. These revisions are intended to allow flexibility in value-based payment arrangements and coordinated care, which will facilitate better patient care by eliminating the existing, outdated barriers to provider relationships imposed by the original Stark law and the anti-kickback provisions.
The proposed rule changes include safe harbors that allow hospitals to pay physicians incentives as part of care models sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. These activities are designed to improve quality, outcomes or efficiency; or as part of value-based arrangements that include downside risk. In addition, the proposed rules would allow physicians to share information among themselves or with hospitals to manage patient care through data analytics.