Over time, however, we've seen the web of regulations born out of the law become nearly impossible to navigate without legal assistance. The Stark law has become so complex and burdensome that healthcare providers, legislators and even the bill's original sponsor have called for repealing the law in its current form, which has veered from the original intent.
In an era when we are now pushing our providers to work closely together to bring down costs, and in many cases share in the savings they create, we need to update the laws to ease the burden on providers and give the CMS more flexibility to approve waivers to providers who enter into these high-value arrangements.
Through bipartisan support, the Health Subcommittee is speaking with healthcare professionals across the country to identify unnecessary regulations that must be met at the cost of patient care. Working together, we can find a balance to maintain a system of accountability for providers that makes sense while protecting patients and providing quality care at a reasonable cost. The goal of the subcommittee in evaluating the Stark law is simple: better care for Medicare patients.
Our nation—in fact, our world—has seen significant technological advancements over the past 40 years; it's now time for our laws to catch up to the modern-day tools at our disposal in order to ensure we use these tools responsibly without hindering progress.
Regulations are often well-intended, and there is value to smart regulation for patient and provider protection. However, new regulations year after year have a compounding effect. Healthcare is constantly changing, and we need to review these rules as technologies and care delivery models change.
Hearings we've held on Stark law modernization and achievements through the Medicare Red Tape Relief Program offer members of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee the opportunity to work together to find solutions that improve healthcare quality and safety.