Liles Parker PLLC
(202) 298-8750 (800) 475-1906
Washington, DC | Houston, TX
San Antonio, TX | Baton Rouge, LA

We Defend Healthcare Providers Nationwide in Audits & Investigations

CMS Publishes Stark Self-Disclosure Protocol

CMS Has Published Its Stark Self-Disclosure Protocol(September 30, 2010): The Health Care Reform Act has dramatically changed the future of health care for millions of Americans.  While many of its provisions are directed at access and affordability issues, a significant portion of the Act addresses various loopholes in existing statutory and regulatory provisions aimed at fighting health care fraud.  One of these statutes is the “Physician Self-Referral Statute,” Section 1877 of the Social Security Act, also known as “Stark.”  Section 6409 of the Health Care Reform Act required that the Secretary, Health and Human Services (HHS) work with HHS’ Inspector General of HHS to establish a Medicare self-referral disclosure protocol.  Last week, CMS published its Stark Self-Referral Protocol to be used by providers when disclosing Stark violations.  Notably, this protocol is specifically limited to Stark issues.

As the Stark Self-Disclosure protocol discusses:

“Participation in the SRDP [self-referral disclosure protocol] is limited to actual or potential violations of the physician self-referral statute. The OIG’s Self-Disclosure Protocol is available for disclosing conduct that raises potential liabilities under other federal criminal, civil, or administrative laws. See. 63 Fed. Reg. 58399 (Oct. 30, 1998); OIG’s Open Letter to Health Care Providers, March 24, 2009. For example, conduct that raises liability risks under the physician self-referral statute may also raise liability risks under the OIG’s civil monetary penalty authorities regarding the federal anti-kickback statute and should be disclosed through the OIG’s Self-Disclosure Protocol. Disclosing parties should not disclose the same conduct under both the SRDP and OIG’s Self-Disclosure Protocol.”

When evaluating the self-disclosures made, CMS has stated that it will consider the following factors in its assessment of whether or not to reduce any amounts that may be owed due to violations of the Stark statute.  These include:

(1) The nature and extent of the improper or illegal practice;

(2) The timeliness of the self-disclosure;

(3) The cooperation in providing additional information related to the disclosure;

(4) The litigation risk associated with the matter disclosed; and

(5) The financial position of the disclosing party.

 Importantly, there are no guarantees.  CMS has no obligation to reduce any amounts that may be owed.   The Stark statute can be quite complicated and providers facing Stark issues should discuss these points with qualified legal counsel when deciding whether or not to use the self-disclosure protocol.

Liles Parker attorneys are experienced in assessing business arrangements which may implicate the Stark statute.  Should you have questions regarding Stark or this self-disclosure protocol, please give us a call at:  1 (800) 475-1906.  

  • Advertisement

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.