Practitioners May Seek Waiver to Stark Law During COVID-19 Emergency

In response to the COVID-19 emergency, on March 13, the secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services identified certain areas of law under Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program that may be waived during the emergency. Such areas of law included, but were not limited to provisions of Stark Law (also known as the physician Self-Referral Law), a maximum on the number of beds permitted in critical access hospitals, and fee waivers for DME replacements. While the Secretary’s declaration did not specifically authorize the waivers themselves (it laid the groundwork for: (1) CMS to establish blanket waivers for certain areas of law; and (2) practitioners to seek specific waivers for those items for which blanket waivers were not established.

CMS has not established a blanket waiver for Stark Law. However, the Secretary has specifically identified it as an area of law where a request for waiver may be sought by practitioners. Stark Law prohibits physician referral of patients to receive designated health services payable by Medicare or Medicaid to entities in which a physician, or physician’s immediate family member, has a financial relationship. The intent behind these waivers is to marshal all healthcare assets to bear on combating this national emergency without be slowed down by technicalities; self-referrals may prove to be a particularly valuable tool.

How Frier Levitt Can Help
Let Frier Levitt assist you in navigating the red tape to obtain a waiver for Stark Law during this time so that you can focus on patient care. If you are interested in obtaining a waiver for Stark law, contact Frier Levitt today.

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