Last month CMS settled several violations of the self-referral statute (aka Stark Law) with an Ohio hospital, including a failure to appropriately structure a donation arrangement for electronic health records (EHR) . The hospital disclosed under the Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol that it may have violated the Stark Law with regard to several arrangements with certain physicians, including arrangements for EKG interpretations, medical director services, Vice-Chief of Staff services, and hospital services (no specifics provided in CMS release). The settlement was for $265,565. The SRDP, which was included in the ACA, was created as a mechanism for providers to self-report potential Stark law violations.
The EHR donation arrangement to the Stark and Anti-Kickback laws permits hospitals to enter into certain arrangements with physicians for the donation of EHR related software and services. The donation arrangement exception is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2013, however CMS has proposed extending the exception through 2016. If CMS does not extend the exception, existing donation arrangements will have to convert to fair market value for shared technology and services.
If you have questions regarding the SRDP or structuring a EHR donation arrangement please contact Elana Zana.