LUGPA Supports Government’s Efforts to Modernize Stark Law
New Task Force Announced by Federal Government Recognizes a Glaring Need
Chicago, IL, January 22, 2018–On January 17, 2018, CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced that The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will form an interagency group to review the regulatory barriers posed by Stark law. These efforts are aimed at advancing the transition to value-based care and easing providers’ concerns. Enacted in 1989, and amended in 1993, the Stark Law regulations have grown into a complex collection of unwieldy rules that prevent health care providers from delivering patient centered care in the most cost efficient manner. The following statement can be attributed to Neal D. Shore, MD, FACS, president of LUGPA, the leading voice for urologists in independent practice:
LUGPA commends Administrator Verma and CMS for recognizing the need to address the barriers existing from outdated Stark and anti-kickback laws, which prevent physicians from engaging with MACRA’s goals of value-based care. We appreciate that CMS recognizes the barriers which physicians face under current regulations in the Stark Law, and we concur that fundamental problems in the statute that must be addressed legislatively. First and foremost, physicians attempting to engage in value-based care models need relief from “volume or value” provisions in Stark law that are an anachronistic obstacle to the development of alternative payment models.
In order to support healthcare’s evolution to a value-based system, LUGPA has been working with legislators and CMS to implement the critical changes needed that will lessen the regulatory burden on independent practices and level the playing field with all healthcare providers, inclusive of large institutional/hospital based systems. LUGPA will continue to work closely with CMS and Congress to ensure that patients continue to have access to high-quality, high-value health care at the site of their own choosing.
As part of this effort, LUGPA led a coalition of 25 other physician-focused healthcare organizations, representing more than 500,000 physicians, are promoting the adoption of the Medicare Care Coordination Improvement Act (H.R. 4206, S. 2051), which modernizes the Stark Law. We urge Congress to enact H.R. 4206 and S. 2051 swiftly as federal agencies streamline regulatory boundaries surrounding physician self-referral. It is time that these regulatory statues which are almost three decades old be revised to accommodate our current health care policy mandates.
LUGPA is a trade Association that represents independent urology group practices in the U.S., with more than 2,300 physicians who make up more than 25 percent of the nation’s practicing urologists, and provide more than 30 percent of the total urologic care in the U.S. The Association is committed to providing the best resources and information for its member practices through advocacy, research, data collection and benchmarking efforts. LUGPA advocates for independent urology practices by promoting quality clinical outcomes, fostering new opportunities and improving advocacy in the legislative and regulatory arenas. For more information, visit lugpa.org.