CMS to delay portion of Stark III

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will delay implementation of a provision banning physician self-referral in the Stark III rules for one year.

The agency has put on hold the provision, which would prohibit physician self-referral within academic medical centers and not-for-profit integrated health systems. The provision will wind down an exemption that had allowed physicians to have indirect financial relationships with the hospitals to which they refer.

Academic medical centers and not-for-profit integrated health systems have opposed the new rule, asserting that they would be unable to offer physicians support payments, which are given to affiliated physicians and considered acceptable under other Stark exceptions.

Other Stark rules will take effect on December 4.

Related Reading

Same-specialty referring physicians use imaging more frequently, study says, November 8, 2007

CMS delays in-office self-referral decision with new MPFS rule, November 7, 2007

Maryland court backs state's self-referral law, October 26, 2007

Imaging self-referral comes under scrutiny in California, April 20, 2007

Illinois AG's lawsuit may chill equipment leasing deals, January 24, 2007

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