The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently settled two violations of the physician self-referral law (Stark Law) that were disclosed by a Missouri hospital under the Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol (SRDP).
This latest settlement is the thirteenth since the SRDP’s inception in September 2010, which came with the passage of the Affordable Care Act. In this particular instance, the Missouri hospital disclosed that its arrangement with two physicians for the provision of certain dental services did not satisfy the Stark Law “personal services” exception, and thus may have violated the law. CMS settled with the hospital for $125,000, bringing the tally of SRDP settlements to nearly $1.28 million.
Under the SRDP, providers may disclose actual or possible Stark law violations, for which the Secretary of HHS is authorized to reduce the penalties. Settlement amounts have ranged anywhere from $60 for an Ohio physician group practice to $579,000 for an acute care hospital in Massachusetts.
According to a report HHS submitted to Congress in March 2012, CMS has received 150 disclosures from 148 providers since the SRDP implementation. As of the date of the report, there 51 disclosures still under review, and CMS was awaiting additional documentation for 61 additional disclosures.
CMS maintains a list of all SRDP settlements here.
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