Ronald A. Paulus, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mission Health testified today before the Senate Finance Committee at the hearing “Examining the Stark Law: Current Issues and Opportunities.” Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced Dr. Paulus. “After testifying today, I am encouraged by the bipartisan discussion on the well known difficulties that the Stark Law presents in our efforts to provide value based, high quality care. This well intended but antiquated law creates a thick fog of uncertainty that handcuffs our efforts to work in partnership with our physicians to fundamentally improve care, lower costs and more fully engage patients. I look forward to the continuing dialogue with the Committee to bring needed reforms in this critical area,” Dr. Paulus said.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) convened the hearing to examine ways to improve and reform the Stark Law. Given the importance of improving care coordination for seniors, the Committee is reviewing the Stark law’s impact on Medicare and the seniors this program serves.
“The Stark Law was designed in an era when fee-for-service was Medicare’s primary payment model. But now, as providers move to alternative payment models, the law presents practical and outdated barriers in need of updating,” Hatch said. “This hearing will give members of the Committee the opportunity to hear how the Stark Law works in practice for today’s healthcare providers and what reforms are needed to streamline the law to make it work for providers, patients and taxpayers.”
The hearing was live streamed on the Senate Finance Committee’s website, and a printed transcript can be found here.