The purpose of the Stark Act is to prohibit a physician (or family member of that physician) from referring for «certain health services» to an institution with which the referring physician (or direct family member) has a financial relationship, unless the parties respect one of the exceptions under the federal provisions. In addition, Stark prohibits institutions such as hospitals from filing claims for payments to Medicare or Medicaid for items or services arising from prohibited transfers. While the concept of «financial relationship» may seem simple, Stark broadly defines the term and encompasses both property and investment interests and compensation agreements between physicians (and their immediate families) and institutions. Violations of the Stark Act can be significantly liable under the False Claims Act, civil fines and exclusion from all federal health programs. Under strong law, many exceptions to civil liability are included. Among them, a common theme is the requirement that each agreement be supported by signed writing. The Stark Act is the common name of a section of the Social Security Act that prohibits physicians from referring Medicare patients to institutions with which the referring physician has a financial relationship for certain health services. There are different exceptions to this removal ban, each with its own specific criteria. One category of exceptions is the compensation agreement, some of which – such as office space rental, equipment rental, personal services and physician recruitment – have writing and signing requirements. This means that the derogatory criteria are not met, unless the contractual agreement is reduced, among other things, to a letter signed by the parties with operational conditions (for example, remuneration. B, amount of benefits, durations – #160;). Each of these exceptions has specific requirements that must be fully met to accommodate the safe harbor and avoid violations. With the CMS working to modernize and clarify the Physician Self-Reference Act (Stark), the proposed rule, published on October 17, 2019, contains a proposed revision that would provide more flexibility to many non-abusive devices.
Based on feedback received and experience with the Voluntary Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol (SRDP), CMS rewrote its position on the temporary non-compliance with the signing and writing requirements of various exceptions to compensation agreements. The current CMS proposal would remove the existing rule on temporary non-compliance with signature requirements and codify in its place the special legal rule of temporary non-compliance with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.