Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012
AMA webinar explains how to navigate self-referrals
Physicians can view a newly archived AMA webinar to learn how to navigate the complex rules that govern physician self-referrals, known as the "Stark law." Sign in to access the webinar.
Presented by an experienced health law attorney, the webinar features practical examples and case studies to illuminate what this often-confusing law permits and prohibits regarding referrals for Medicare patients.
The webinar explains how the Stark law defines key terms and how to safely develop business arrangements involving referrals. This presentation covers the types of financial arrangements physicians can pursue, which arrangements they should avoid and penalties that can be assessed for violations of the law.
Physicians also can take advantage of the AMA's new "Stark Law Rules of the Road" toolkit, which offers guidance on safely referring and determining how the law might apply to individual physicians.
Bolster support for Medicare private contracting bill
Physicians can use a set of resources to build support for federal legislation that would give Medicare patients greater choice so they have access to the physicians they want and need to see.
Based on AMA policy, the Medicare Patient Empowerment Act, introduced to both chambers of Congress last year, would enable Medicare patients to use their benefits to see physicians under the terms of a private contract with negotiated fee arrangements without having to pay for the entire cost of their care out of pocket, as required under current law.
This legislation also would eliminate the two-year Medicare "opt out" requirement that applies to physicians who enter into these private contracts with their Medicare patients.
The AMA offers various documents that explain the need for this legislation, including a video that spells out the issue and why this bill is right for patients. Physicians also can access slide decks for use in presentations to patients or colleagues about this issue.