The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input from the public on the burden the Stark Law may impose on patient care and recommendations on how to address any undue impact, specifically on care coordination.

The Stark Law, also known as the physician self-referral law, prohibits a physician from making referrals of a Medicare of Medicaid patient to an entity providing designated health services with which he or she (or an immediate family member) has a financial interest.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma stated that in its current form, the Stark Law may hinder “truly value-based, patient centered health care system(s).” CMS is working in coordination with Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to maintain the integrity of the Medicare program, while working to reduce costs and improve outcomes.

CMS is requesting public input on several areas, including: how the Stark Law is impacting commercial alternative payment models and novel financial arrangements, additional exceptions to the Stark Law, what barriers exist to qualifying as a “group practice,” thoughts on compliance costs for regulated entities, and if and how CMS should measure the effectiveness of the Stark Law in preventing unnecessary utilization.

Public comments can be submitted until August 24, 2018.