Statement attributed to:
President, American Medical Association
“The American Medical Association (AMA) greatly appreciates that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health and Human Services are proposing to modernize and clarify the regulations that interpret the Stark Law and anti-kickback statute. While the AMA is assessing the full scope of today’s proposals, we are pleased to see that the administration has acknowledged a need for policy revisions in response to potential barriers that impede the delivery of patient-centric care.
“The AMA has previously called on the administration to modify the regulations in order to facilitate the move to value-based care. Currently, the Stark Law and anti-kickback statute can have a negative impact on the ability of physicians to assist with coordination because they inhibit collaborative partnerships, care continuity, and the engagement of patients in their care. These obstacles can hinder the health care system’s movement to value-based care.
“Continuity of care requires smooth transitions to prepare for patients’ changing clinical and social needs. In certain circumstances, physicians are prohibited from employing care coordination strategies on behalf of our patients. Instead, patients, in addition to dealing with the physical and emotional aspects of a disease or condition, often find themselves having to coordinate their own care in a fragmented and siloed system.
“Placing the obligation on the patient to know how to properly manage follow-up care without the assistance of their physician or care coordinator negatively impacts patient care, the physician-patient relationship, and a physician’s ability to perform. This barrier can be overcome through creating an anti-kickback safe harbor and Stark exception to facilitate coordinated care. The AMA looks forward to working with CMS and the OIG and will continue to support efforts to update and modernize the fraud and abuse laws and regulations to address changes in the health care delivery and payment systems.”
Robert J. Mills
ph: (312) 464-5970
About the American Medical Association
The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care. The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.