Currently, group practices may refer certain Designated Health Services (DHS) within their practice, provided the group practice meets additional requirements, without violating Stark self-referral laws. This Stark exception is referred to as the in-office ancillary services exception (IOASE).
The Department of Health & Human Services’ fiscal year 2014 budget recommends the exclusion of advanced diagnostic imaging services, radiation therapy, and physical therapy services from the DHS that may be referred in accordance with the IOASE. The proposed policy change does contain an exception “in cases where a practice meets certain accountability standards, as defined by the Secretary.” No additional details as to the specifics of this exception are currently available. If enacted, this would be one of the most significant changes to Stark Law in years. For more information regarding the proposed change, please see the Department of Health & Human Services’ Fiscal Year 2014 Budget in Brief.
Continue to check the Blalock Walters’ Health Care Law Insights page for the latest updates on possible changes to the IOASE.