Dorsey partner Ross C. D'Emanuele commented in Medical Economics magazine on updates to the federal physician self-referral (or Stark) regulations. Under Stark, physicians are prohibited from making self-referrals involving a range of health care services for Medicare and Medicaid patients. The new regulations, issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), went into effect in December 2007.
D'Emanuele says the rule changes signal CMS’ willingness to make significant changes to Stark annually, rather than address Stark changes comprehensively in a Stark Phase III regulation. This creates an environment of legal instability for hospitals, physicians and other health care providers. "From one perspective, the substance of Stark is less important than that it be reliable enough so that people can adjust and comply with it. If CMS changes things significantly on a yearly basis, it puts great doubt what hospitals and doctors can reliably do going forward."
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"How the New Stark Rules Affect You" was published by Medical Economics magazine, February 1, 2008.