HHS Seeks Fraud and Abuse Law Waivers for ACOs

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) published in the Federal Register (vol. 76, No. 67) April 7 a notice regarding accountable care organizations (ACOs) with comment period. Together, these federal agencies are seeking public comment on the proposal for waivers of certain fraud and abuse laws to carry out the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

The notice with comment period describes and solicits public input regarding possible waivers of the physician self-referral law, the anti-kickback statute, and certain civil monetary penalty (CMP) law provisions to specified financial arrangements involving ACOs under the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

The Social Security Act (the Act), as amended by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), authorizes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary to waive these provisions of the Stark law as necessary to carry out the Medicare Shared Savings Program. This notice with comment period also solicits public input regarding a separate waiver that would authorize the HHS secretary to waive the same fraud and abuse laws, among others, as necessary solely for the purposes of testing certain innovative payment and service delivery models by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

Comments are being accepted until 5 p.m., June 6. See the official notice for commenting instructions and complete language.

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