HCR: Stark Law Amendment Affects Physicians

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590) may affect your practice in more ways than you think. A provision in the health care reform bill changes disclosure requirements for in-office ancillary services.

Section 6003 of the reform bill amends the Stark law exception to the prohibition on physician self-referral for certain imaging services by adding one very long but extremely important sentence.

Effective Jan. 1, 2010, physicians must provide patients with a written list of other local imaging suppliers qualified to render the same services for which they are being referred in-office.

The requirements apply to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), and any other designated health services the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) deems appropriate.

The provision is on page 1,534 of the reform bill, viewable online at govtrack.us. Learn more about the Stark law at starklaw.org.


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