Here are three significant updates related to the Stark law that could impact Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs):
Florida’s Supervision Requirements: A new law has been enacted in Florida that amends the state’s Stark law supervision stipulations. Previously, the law mandated direct supervision, meaning the supervising physician had to be physically present in the office when the referred services were being executed. This direct supervision mandate has now been removed. Instead, the service should be supervised in a manner that aligns with “all applicable Medicare payment and coverage rules for services.”
Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023: This act has introduced updates to the exceptions in the Stark law and anti-kickback law. These changes will enable hospitals and other healthcare providers to enhance mental health services for physicians. Specifically, a new exception has been introduced for physician wellness programs provided by healthcare entities, which encompasses ASCs, hospitals, and physician practices.
CMS Self-Referral Disclosure Updates: On January 23, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced updates to its voluntary self-referral disclosure laws. This includes a revised version of the self-referral disclosure protocol form, an updated physician information form, and a new group practice information form. One notable change in the self-referral disclosure protocol form is the update to the signed certification. It no longer has to be provided as a physical copy and can now be submitted electronically.
- The removal of the direct supervision requirement in Florida’s Stark law could offer more flexibility in service provision, but it also emphasizes the importance of adhering to Medicare’s payment and coverage rules.
- The introduction of exceptions for physician wellness programs highlights the growing recognition of the importance of mental health in the medical community.
- The move towards electronic submissions in CMS’s self-referral disclosure laws reflects the broader trend of digital transformation in healthcare.