CMS Issues Final Stark Phase III Regulations

Stark Phase III Regulations

On August 27, 2007, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) placed on display at the Office of the Federal Register a final rule on physician "self-referral" of Medicare beneficiaries for certain types of Medicare-covered services. The rule is commonly known as "Stark Phase III," named after the original sponsor of the legislation that became Section 1877 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 1395nn) and being CMS’ third final rule on the topic. With certain exceptions, "self-referral" is the practice of referring a patient to an entity in which a referring physician has an actual or deemed financial interest, either through an ownership or compensation arrangement.

Generally, the rule describes CMS’ interpretation of the prohibitions and exceptions to the prohibitions laid out in Section 1877.

Among other changes, the rule:

·        Modifies physician recruitment restrictions;

·        Provides more flexibility in complying with non-monetary compensation limits;

·        Reduces the administrative burden of complying with some exceptions to the Stark limitations; and

·        "Clarifies" CMS’ "interpretation of existing regulations."

The rule is scheduled to be published in the September 5, 2007, edition of the Federal Register.

Thanks to The RAP Practice Group of AHLA for posting this information.

Read the press release :

or download the display version of the rule: