Brady Statement on CMS Efforts to Reduce Regulatory Burden of Stark Law

June 21, 2018 — Press Releases   

Washington, D.C. – House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) today released the following statement after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Request for Information seeking recommendations and input from the public on how policymakers can reduce the regulatory burdens of the “Stark Law”:

“Our Committee has led the charge in identifying areas where Washington can cut the red tape in the Medicare program so our providers can focus on what matters most: providing quality and affordable patient-centered care. Thanks to the leadership of Health Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam, we have hosted four roundtable discussions with medical groups this year focused on this very issue.

“As we identified in these roundtables, the administrative and regulatory burdens the Stark Law is creating for our providers are costly, unnecessary, and ultimately unfair to patients. I applaud Secretary Azar, Deputy Secretary Harganand Administrator Verma for taking this step, and look forward to working with them to bring us towards a more value-based health care system focused on patients’ needs, not Washington’s mandates.”

Background: The Stark Law is a 1980s-era policy which was originally intended to protect Medicare beneficiaries from excessive costs and other potential harms that could result from physician referrals of patients to other providers where existing financial ties may be present.  However, the Stark Law has instead resulted in driving up costs for patients and created unnecessary complexity and regulatory stress for providers.  The Stark Law has a history of blocking collaboration of medical providers, which is required for value-based and patient-centered care, including collaboration required by the MACRA law.

The Health Subcommittee has held four roundtables in 2018 — with provider groups, hospitals, post-acute care medical professionals, and physicians — focused on how lawmakers and the Administration can work to cut red tape in the Medicare program to help these groups provide better care to their patients. At each roundtable discussion, the burdens of the Stark Law were stressed multiple times. The Ways and Means Committee looks forward to continuing to work with CMS to identify ways we can modernize this law to help move our health care system forward.

CLICK HERE to learn about the Health Subcommittee’s roundtable in June with physician groups.

CLICK HERE to learn about the Health Subcommittee’s roundtable in May with post-acute care medical professionals.

CLICK HERE to learn about the Health Subcommittee’s roundtable in April with hospitals.

CLICK HERE to learn about the Health Subcommittee’s roundtable in March with provider groups.